Allusionist 60: Zillions

They look like numbers. They sound like numbers. You kinda know they are numbers. But they're not actually numbers. Linguistic anthropologist Stephen Chrisomalis explains what's going on with indefinite hyperbolic numerals like 'zillion', 'squillion' and 'kajillion'.

Read more

Allusionist 13: Mixed Emojions

iTUNESRSSSOUNDCLOUDMP3

Emoji allow communication without words. Could emoji be the universal language of the 21st century? Matt Gray and Tom Scott, founders of the emoji-only messaging platform emoj.li, talk through the pitfalls; and History Today's Dr Kate Wiles finds the 500- and 5,000-year-old precedents for emoji.

CONTENT WARNING: 
this episode contains one category B swear word, plus references to penises growing on trees.

ADDITIONAL READING:

I made the video using Animoto, who sponsor this episode. Visit animoto.com/words to try out their easy video-making tools; and if you sign up for a pro account, you can get 15% off if you use the code WORDS. I'm still lost in their music library...

This episode is also sponsored by Squarespace.com. Build yourself a spiffy website - like this one! - and get 10% off their services for a year by using the code ALLUSION.

MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
kloof

CREDITS:

- HZ

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.