Today’s episode is the annual bonus Allusionist, featuring outtakes from some of this year’s guests saying things that were not necessarily related to the topic of the original episode, or even related to language at all, but I thought, “Hmm! Interesting!” and filed them away until THIS MOMENT.
This is not a typical episode of the Allusionist, so if this is your first time here, welcome! And do try a few different episodes of the show to get a picture. This year there have been episodes about your names, and superhero names; about how swearing can be good for your health, and so can novels; about tattoos, and typing champions; about how the drive to survive sent the Welsh language across an ocean, and the Scots language to hide at home; and many more. Thanks so much for spending time with me over 2018.Read More
JW: László Bíró would hear people say the ballpoint was ruining writing skills, and he’d smile and say, “Well, if writing comes from the heart, if we can help the hand to perform the hand to perform the task, what’s so wrong with that?” And I think there’s nothing wrong with that. Well done László Bíró.
HZ: I think it’s also interesting that Bíró and Bic's names are on products that are hugely successful, but rarely the centre of attention - and also disposable.
JW: Yeah. And also they are kind of disposable, in that you can know what a Bic or a Biro is, but you don’t need to know who Marcel is or who László is. They’ve made this disposable contribution to history, and in the same way made themselves disposable.