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
CONTENT WARNING: there is swearing in this episode. But the happy news is: swearing is good for you!Read More
Does the available vocabulary for sex leave something to be desired? Namely desire? (And also the ability to use it wthout laughing/dying of embarrassment?) Aiding in the search for a better sex lexicon - sexicon - are Kaitlin Prest of fellow Radiotopia podcast The Heart, and romance novelist Mhairi McFarlane.Read More
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Your online dating profile is the latest spin on a 300-year-old tradition of advertising yourself in order to find a spouse, a sexual partner, or someone to take care of your pigs.
Francesca Beauman, author of Shapely Ankle Preferr’d: A History of the Lonely Hearts Ad, digs into lonely hearts ads to see how British society and desires have evolved over the past three centuries.
WARNING: Some of the content is a little saucy, but not, like, swimming in sauce.
- Reviews of hundreds of different dating sites? You got it.
- I love reading the Blind Dates in the Guardian each Saturday, and The Guyliner’s dissection thereof shortly afterwards.
- Atlas Obscura tests the Victorian seduction technique of reading aloud.
- Not so much a lonely heart ad as a curious soul ad, but it resulted in one of the most intriguing books I’ve ever read: The Life Swap by Nancy Weber. Read about it here (NB spoilers).
- Warlock: offensive term?
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/wltm-i.
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS:
2. Our generous benefactors Squarespace.com want to help you realise your online dreams in the form of beautiful, well-designed websites. To get 10% off yours for the first year plus a domain thrown in, use the code ALLUSION at checkout. Unlike my mug of a husband.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Find Francesca Beauman at francescabeauman.com and buy her books, including the excellent Shapely Ankle Preferr’d, from your usual book-buying places.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman.
- Martin Austwick provided all the music.
- Matthew Crosby provided his voice.
- Allusionist listeners provided their dating profiles, for which I am extremely grateful.
- WLTM you at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.
This is a two-parter, and the second half is an absolute belter, so return next week to hear it.