Allusionist 53: The Away Team

"Recognizing someone's humanity is crucial. Calling someone a migrant, calling someone an asylum seeker, calling them a refugee: these are official categories. But in many ways, depending on how they use them, they can change and become more negative."

So says propaganda and migration specialist Emma Briant, explaining the dangers of conflating and misusing the terms that apply to humans on the move. And British-Asian-but-kinda-not author Nikesh Shukla wonders where he's from - where he is really from.

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Allusionist 15: Step Away

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'Step-', as in stepparents or stepchildren, originated in grief. Family structures have evolved, but are stepmothers now so tainted by fairytale associations with the word 'wicked' that we need new terminology? Lore's Aaron Mahnke stops by to describe the lovelessness, literary tropes and life expectancy around 'step-'.

ADDITIONAL READING:

On Tuesday 4th August 2015 at 8pm UK time, 3pm ET, 12pm PT, I'll be doing a live discussion about this episode at spoken.am. Please come along to tell me what you think, divulge about your own steprelatives, and to ask me anything about the show.

Go to spoken.am to request your invite* and I'll see you there, yes? (Or you can catch up afterwards, if you must.)

UPDATE: Now that we are living in the post-live chat era, you can catch up at spoken.am/allusionist/step-away

*My school English teacher used to HATE people using 'invite' as a noun. I feel both guilty and slyly delighted to have done so just now.

This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh, who'll deliver fresh, healthy meal kits to your door. And they've got very tasty special offers for you Allusionist listeners in the USA if you visit hellofresh.com/allusion.

MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
emolument

CREDITS:

Back in a fortnight. Don't let anyone turn you into a pumpkin in the meantime.

- HZ

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Allusionist 9: The Space Between

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I know this is a show about words, but forget the words for a moment; look at the spaces between the words. 

Without the spaces, the words would be nigh incomprehensible. And yet, they're a relatively recent linguistic innovation. Dr Kate Wiles explains how English got its spaces.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS:

Hooray for spaces!

MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
nombril

This episode is sponsored by Tasting Room and Squarespace.com. To order the Tasting Room starter pack of wine samples for the special price of $6.95, visit tastingroom.com/allusionist. Tough luck, winos of the world; Tasting Room only ship to the USA. But wherever you are, you can receive a 10% discount for a year on Squarespace.com using the code Allusion.

Thanks ever so much to all of you who've already filled out the Radiotopia listener survey at surveynerds.com/allusionist; if you haven't, please do! What's in it for you? 1. We can find out how to make our podcasts better for you; 2. you could win some posh Tivoli headphones; 3. altruistic glow.

Come back in a fortnight for the next episode, space cadets!

- HZ

CREDITS

MUSIC:

'Allusionist Theme' - Martin Austwick
'The Spaces In Between' - Ben Christophers

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.