Allusionist 85. Skin Story

“I wanted a story that actually lives, and actually dies, and disappears.”

In 2003, artist and author Shelley Jackson started the Skin Project: a story printed, word by word, as tattoos on volunteers.

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Allusionist 21: Eponyms I: The Ballad of Bic and Biro

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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."

ADDITIONAL READING:

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:
jacquerie

CREDITS:

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.

- HZ

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

Allusionist 15: Step Away

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'Step-', as in stepparents or stepchildren, originated in grief. Family structures have evolved, but are stepmothers now so tainted by fairytale associations with the word 'wicked' that we need new terminology? Lore's Aaron Mahnke stops by to describe the lovelessness, literary tropes and life expectancy around 'step-'.

ADDITIONAL READING:

On Tuesday 4th August 2015 at 8pm UK time, 3pm ET, 12pm PT, I'll be doing a live discussion about this episode at spoken.am. Please come along to tell me what you think, divulge about your own steprelatives, and to ask me anything about the show.

Go to spoken.am to request your invite* and I'll see you there, yes? (Or you can catch up afterwards, if you must.)

UPDATE: Now that we are living in the post-live chat era, you can catch up at spoken.am/allusionist/step-away

*My school English teacher used to HATE people using 'invite' as a noun. I feel both guilty and slyly delighted to have done so just now.

This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh, who'll deliver fresh, healthy meal kits to your door. And they've got very tasty special offers for you Allusionist listeners in the USA if you visit hellofresh.com/allusion.

MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
emolument

CREDITS:

Back in a fortnight. Don't let anyone turn you into a pumpkin in the meantime.

- HZ

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.