Allusionist 95. Verisimilitude

When you’re watching a fantasy or science fiction show, and the characters are speaking a language that does not exist in this world but sounds like it could - that doesn’t happen by accident, or improvisation. A lot - a LOT! - of work goes into inventing new languages that sound real. Conlanger David Peterson talks about how he created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

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Allusionist 22: Vocables

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I'll be extremely grateful to you if you do! Here's why.

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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:

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GAVIN'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
occiput

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CREDITS:

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’

Come back in a week's time for the next Radiotopial special edition of the Allusionist. I promise not to sing.

- HZ

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, which is supported by Mailchimp, the Knight Foundation, and listeners like you.

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.