“Trust isn't a brand that you should use. It's a social glue that, when it breaks down, has really huge consequences to our lives.” Trust expert and author Rachel Botsman explains why we need to protect this word that has remained steadfast throughout its existence, but may now be too popular for its own good.Read More
There's a word that has become shorthand for 'the war on Christmas' with a side of 'political correctness gone mad': Winterval.
It began in November 1998. Newspapers furiously accused Birmingham City Council of renaming Christmas when it ran festive events under the name 'Winterval'. The council's then-head of events Mike Chubb explains the true meaning of Winterval.Read More
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Today, Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer from the Radiotopian podcast Criminal stop by to talk about the linguistic challenges of crime reporting.
They also share their episode 'Pants on Fire', about lying. It's an extremely useful handbook if you fancy becoming either a human polygraph, or an excellent liar.
- Lauren Spohrer wrote a very smart piece for Catapult about the ethics of cutting and editing information when constructing stories for Criminal.
- Here's one version of the history of the term 'serial killer', courtesy of NPR, though apparently its origins are contested.
- Body language often gives away a lie, but here are some tips for spotting lies over the phone.
- "The English language has 112 words for deception."
- Here's the transcript of this episode.
If 15,000 of you donate to Radiotopia at any level, Slack.com will throw in an additional $75K. Your $1 could appreciate 75-thousandfold! Visit radiotopia.fm to help make this mathematical miracle happen.
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- Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer make Criminal, which you can find at thisiscriminal.com. Amongst my favourite episodes are 'Triassic Park', 'Gil from London',and 'Angie'. You can see and hear Phoebe fending off attack dogs here.
- 'Pants on Fire' was produced by Phoebe Judge, Lauren Spohrer and Eric Mennel. The rest of this episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks to Russ Henry for production help, and Martin Austwick for the music.
- Communicate with me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman. No fibbing, please.
Come back next week for another Radiotopisode.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, which is supported by Mailchimp, the Knight Foundation, and listeners like you.
You'd think you could trust dictionaries, but it turns out, they are riddled with LIES.
Delivering this upsetting news is Eley Williams, who is just finishing up her PhD about mountweazels, esquivalience and other hoax words that lexicographers have snuck into dictionaries.
- In 2009 a Dublin art gallery held an exhibition called 'The Life and Times of Lilian Virginia Mountweazel'.
- Here's the process by which a real word gets into a dictionary.
- And here's how they rooted out 'esquivalience'.
- Cryptozoological hoaxes!
- I love Eley's sister Catherine Williams's illustration of the made-up bird jungftak:
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