Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 9: And May He Be a Masculine Bridge.
Does talking about an object as masculine or feminine somehow cause us to think of it that way? In the second part of a Lexicon Valley series about language and gender, Bob Garfield and I discuss the fascinating research by Stanford psychologist Lera Boroditsky involving grammar and perception. We talk also about what may have happened to grammatical gender in English. That’s right, once upon a time we had grammatical gender too. But then we lost it.
You'll find every Lexicon Valley episode at slate.com/lexiconvalley, or in the player below:
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TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.