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There’s a language which is said to be the smallest language in the world. It has around 123 words, five vowels, nine consonants, and apparently you can become fluent in it with around 30 hours’ study. It was invented by linguist Sonja Lang in 2001, and it’s called Toki Pona.
And fellow Radiotopian Nate DiMeo, from the Memory Palace, decided we should learn it together.
- tokipona.org is your first stop for Toki Pona information, such as Sonja Lang's book and the Facebook group.
- This is the article that first piqued Nate's and my interest in Toki Pona. I also enjoyed reading about this two-day Toki Pona learning binge.
- A Finnish psychiatrist experimented with getting his patients to record their thoughts in Toki Pona every day.
- Hey, linguistic size queens: here's a piece comparing number of words in different languages, and here are some stats for you.
- I need to read In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent, who appeared in this early episode of 99% Invisible about Esperanto.
- There are a lot more invented languages; here are a few mentioned in this episode: Kēlen, Ithkuil, Blissymbols, Lojban, Klingon, Elvish, Na'vi...
- Here's the transcript of this episode.
At time of publication, there are 20 hours left to join the Radiotopia funding drive and support our thirteen shows (and attend to your own desires for challenge coins and Tshirts and such).
SIMON, LOUISE, ANJALI & MATHEW'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS:
Oxford Games are offering you 15% off their boxes of fun if you use the code ALL15 when you order from the shop at oxfordgames.co.uk. Need ideas about which game to buy? Listen to company founder Leslie Scott in the Word Play episode.
Build yourself a swish website with Squarespace.com, and receive 10% off your first purchase by using the code Allusion.
- Nate DiMeo makes the beautiful podcast The Memory Palace thememorypalace.us.
- PRX are the power behind the Radiotopia throne. They work on many wonderful projects, and their latest is the Esquire Classic podcast, which you can find here.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks to Eleanor McDowall.
- Martin Austwick provided all the music apart from the instrumental version of Survivor's 'Eye of the Tiger'.
- Communicate with me minimalistically at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.
As the fundraiser ends, so does this season of more frequent episodes with my Radiotopian comrades. I hope you enjoyed them! The show resumes its fortnightly schedule, so the next episode should appear on 2nd December 2015.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, which is supported by Mailchimp, the Knight Foundation, and listeners like you.
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Naming something after yourself: a grand display of egomania, or the humble willingness to be overshadowed by your own product?
Stationery expert James Ward tells the tale of the people who begat the eponymous ballpoint pens Bic and Biro, because, according to 99% Invisible's Roman Mars, "When it comes to word origins, an eponym is the shortest bet you’re going to get a good story out of it."
- Eponyms are swarming all over the place! Particularly when it comes to medical terms, about which there are lots of good little stories about the latter at Whonamedit? Looks like some of those eponymizers are very high achievers.
- You can read James Ward's delightful book Adventures in Stationery (AKA The Perfection of the Paperclip in some territories), and/or you can read about James Ward and his book to whet your appetite.
- Learn more about Thomas 'Bowdlerization' Bowdler. Also listener Mededitor shared this post about bowdlerized Shakespeare.
- Here's a brief history of pens; here's a slightly longer history of pens; and here's the picture dictionary version of the corporate history of Bic.
- Here's a transcript of this episode.
- Here's Roman's tweet that started this whole thing.
If you were creating an eponymous product, what would it be? Mine would be something which doesn't work until the very last minute, just before you throw it away in frustration.
For the next month, there will be new Allusionists every week, each featuring another Radiotopian. If you love Radiotopia's shows and want to help the collective be great, STAY TUNED. Radiotopia needs you. Visit radiotopia.fm on 19th October to find out how you can be involved.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Roman Mars is El Groso of Radiotopia. Find him at twitter.com/romanmars, and 99% Invisible at 99pi.org.
- James Ward is El Groso of Boring Conference. Find him at twitter.com/iamjamesward.com and at iamjamesward.com. And in case you've already forgotten from where I linked to it above, you can buy his book Adventures in Stationery.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks to Martin Austwick for the music and editorial help, and to Seth and Alison for letting me and Roman record in their Wendy House.
- Communicate with me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.
Come back in a week's time for the next Radiotopial special edition of the Allusionist. If you don't, I'll borrow your pen and not return it.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.