Throughout the year, the people who appear on the Allusionist tell me a lot of interesting stuff. Not all of which is relevant to the episode they initially appeared in, so I stash it away in preparation for this moment: the annual bonus episode! Get ready for gory 19th century London slang, the rise and fall of superhero capes, the post-WW1 trend for nudism, and more.Read More
What is the expression 'beyond the pale' on about? How do you express the absence of feeling? Does 'testify' have anything to do with testicles? Do avocados have anything to do with testicles? How does the phrase "It's all Greek to me" relate to food styling? Can you have a caper with capers? Are sharks misunderstood, etymologically and morally? And finally: where do allusions come from?Read More
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder wants people to stop saying 'namaste' after a yoga session.Read More
The 2016 US election isn't going away anytime soon, so let's seek refuge in etymology, as we did before in the first Election Lexicon.
Bonus fun: spot the Radiotopian cameos.
- Oxford Dictionaries have had enough of these political terms, and perhaps so have you.
- Lo, here's a short history of filibustering.
- The linguistics of mass persuasion: how politicians make ‘fetch’ happen.
- And in case you needed to know about the sex lives of politicians during primaries, the escorts they hire are here to tell you.
- Here's the original Election Lexicon episode.
If you want podcasts about the US Election, I've heard good things about FiveThirtyEight, Bandwagon, Presidential, Slate's Political Gabfest, Candidate Confessional, Left, Right & Centre, The Pollsters, Whistlestop... And there's this episode from our pals Mortified.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK, AFTER THESE MESSAGES:
1. Our generous benefactors Squarespace.com want to help you realise your online dreams in the form of beautiful, well-designed websites. Start your free trial today at squarespace.com/allusion; then to get 10% off for the first year, plus a domain thrown in, use the code ALLUSION at checkout.
2. Slack.com is messaging for teams, but also so much more, especially if you're a sadsack lone home-worker like me. It's the email and IM trouncer, and the engine behind Radiotopia's comms. You can use Slack for free for as long as you want; but if you visit slack.com/allusionist and create a new team, you'll receive $100 in credit to use if you ever upgrade to a paid plan with additional features.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- You heard from Radiotopisiblings Jonathan Mitchell from The Truth; Benjamen Walker from Theory of Everything; Lauren Spohrer from Criminal; Hrishikesh Hirway from Song Exploder; Nick van der Kolk from Love + Radio; and Avery Trufelman and Katie Mingle from 99% Invisible.
- This episode was produced by Matt Hill and me. The theme tune is by Martin Austwick.
- Say hello at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman, regardless of on which shoulder you sport your parrot.
Meet you back here in a fortnight.
PS Thanks to listener Matt for designing this bumper sticker after hearing the episode. We've got a chance of winning this, people...
iTUNES • RSS • SOUNDCLOUD • MP3
La la la, dum di di dum, a wop bop a loo bop a wop bom bom - why are songs riddled with non-words masquerading as words?
Hrishikesh Hirway from Radiotopisibling Song Exploder and songwriter Tony Hazzard explain.
WOAH WOAH WAH-OH, DO BE DOO DOO, HERE'S SOME READING MATTER:
- How to write the perfect pop song. (TL;DR: just get Carly Rae Jepsen to do it.)
- Indie singers become pop songwriters. Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? Because I do not.
- This is an old but good long profile of songwriter Ester 'Wrote Nicki Minaj's Superbass and Rihanna's What's My Name, also stars in Pitch Perfect' Dean, whose writing process seems intriguingly vocable-led.
- Here's a little history of the BBC's The Old Grey Whistle Test, and here's a documentary about it, which contains all the fashion inspiration you need for the next six months.
- Here's the transcript of this episode, though not including the relevant lyrics of 'Agadoo', because there are limits.
- Listener Timothy requested a downloadable MP3 of the special version of the theme tune in this episode. Who am I to deprive you?
Still haven't donated to Radiotopia yet? Here's that link again for you. Slack have offered a further $25,000 provided we get 5,000 donors by Monday 26th October, so don't dawdle.
GAVIN'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
You wanna be a cool guy like Gavin and have the next randomly selected word from the dictionary dedicated to you? Then you'd better become a Radiotopia supporter at Radiotopia.fm. Don't make me tell you again.
Email your donation receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to be the randomly selected Radiotopia donor.
- Hrishikesh Hirway makes the excellent podcast Song Exploder, which you'll find at songexploder.net. Here's that Tune-Yards episode I mentioned. He tweets as @songexploder and @hrishihirway.
- Tony Hazzard's extensive career and discography can be found at tonyhazzard.com. His new album The Hallicombe Sessions will arrive in the next few weeks. He tweets as @tonyhazzard.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Communicate with me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.
- Thanks to Martin Austwick for providing the Allusionist theme, and the special vocable version thereof. The other music from the show was, in chronological order:
Ella Fitzgerald - ‘One Note Samba’
The Spice Girls - ‘Spice Up Your Life’
Theme from The Old Grey Whistle Test - ‘Stone Fox Chase’
Little Richard - 'Tutti Frutti'
The Crystals - ‘Da Do Ron Ron’
Black Lace - ‘Agadoo’
JLS - 'She Make Me Wanna'
Betty Wright - ‘Shoorah Shoorah’
Brokeback - ‘In the Reeds’