212 episodes

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

The Allusionist Helen Zaltzman

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 20 Ratings

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

    192. Word Play part 2

    192. Word Play part 2

    This episode, and the next couple of episodes, are about word games! Today, Joshua Blackburn recounts how his sons' uninspiring English homework led to him inventing the language quiz game League of the Lexicon; and Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalıoğlu of Thorny Games explain how they make topics like language loss and deciphering alien language into creative play.

    Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/wordplay2.

    Word Play part 1, featuring Leslie Scott from Oxford Games, is nine years down your podfeed.

    This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. We'll be playing a space-themed show in the planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC on 18 April 2024; get tickets via theallusionist.org/events.

    Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc.

    Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:

    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Babbel, the language-learning app designed by real people for real conversations. Get up to 60% off your Babbel subscription at Babbel.com/allusionist.• Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• HomeChef, meal kits that fit your needs. For a limited time, HomeChef is offering Allusionist listeners 18 free meals, plus free shipping on your first box, and free dessert for life, at HomeChef.com/allusionist.
    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min
    191. Hypochondria

    191. Hypochondria

    The word 'hypochondria' has travelled from meaning physical ailments in a particular region of your body, to ones that are only in your mind. It has been in fashion, and thoroughly out; it has been subject to a range of treatments; it has been lucrative for quacks; and it's a very understandable form of anxiety - which I have, and so does Caroline Crampton, author of the new book A Body Made of Glass: A History of Hypochondria.

    Content note: this episode contains a lot of discussion about health anxiety. There are mentions of cancer, doctors and hospitals - but not detailed accounts of medical conditions or treatments. 

    Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/hypochondria.

    This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. We'll be playing a space-themed show in the planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC on 18 April 2024; get tickets via theallusionist.org/events.

    Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc.

    Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • This Is How We Heal from Painful Childhoods: A Practical Guide to Healing Past Intergenerational Stress and Trauma, the new book from Dr Ernest Ellender. Find out more about his work and buy the book at healfromchildhood.com.

     
    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    190. Craters

    190. Craters

    "It's quite a big undertaking going through every named feature in the whole solar system and trying to find out who that person was."

    When PhD student Annie Lennox discovered a crater on Mercury, she got the chance to name it. Which sent her on a bigger space mission.

    Content note: this episode contains mentions of, but not descriptions of, sexual violence.

    Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the topics therein including how to get involved with the next planetary hackathon, at theallusionist.org/craters.

    This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. We'll be playing a space-themed show in the planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC on 18 April 2024; get tickets via theallusionist.org/events.

    Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc.

    Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:• HomeChef, meal kits that fit your needs. For a limited time, HomeChef is offering Allusionist listeners 18 free meals, plus free shipping on your first box, and free dessert for life, at HomeChef.com/allusionist.• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. 
    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    Tranquillusionist: Person In Scene

    Tranquillusionist: Person In Scene

    This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, soothe your brain by saying a load of words that don’t really mean very much, to give you an emotional break by temporarily supplanting your interior monologue with something you can benignly ignore. Note: this is NOT a normal episode of the Allusionist, where you might learn something about language and your brain might be energised. The Tranquillusionist's purpose is to rest your brain and for you to learn nothing.

    If you like it, there's a collection of tranquillusionists at theallusionist.org/tranquillusionist, on themes including champion dogs, Australia's big things, gay animals and more. Today: a list of the characters who don't have names in film credits. Find out more, and read the transcript, at theallusionist.org/person-in-scene.

    Content note: this episode contains some terminology from the original film credits that I do not endorse, plus one Category B swear and four Category A swears (which I endorse just fine).

    Enormous thanks to Jez Burrows for letting me use some 2,700 of these that he had collected for his book And Introducing. Find it and his other work - including his book Dictionary Stories, short stories composed of the example sentences from dictionaries - at jezburrows.com.

    The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear his songs at palebirdmusic.com, and his podcasts Neutrino Watch and Song By Song in the usual podplaces.

    Help keep this independent podcast alive by becoming a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate; your additional perks include regular livestreams with readings from my dictionaries, inside scoop of the making of every episode, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc.

    Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:

    • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. 

     
    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    189. Mouthful of Fortune

    189. Mouthful of Fortune

    At Lunar New Year, certain foods are particularly lucky to eat. Why? Because in Chinese, their names are puns on fortunate things. Damn, maybe noodles are all it takes to get me into puns after all... Professor Miranda Brown, cultural historian of China specialising in food and drink, explains the wordplay foods of new year, and why names are so resonant in Chinese.

    Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to Miranda Brown's work and more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/fortune.

    This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com.

    Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown - next weekend, the film Arrival) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc.

    Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. 
    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    188. Lipread

    188. Lipread

    Lipreading has been in the news this month, thanks to gossip-stoking mouth movements at the Golden Globes that the amateur lipreaders of The Internet rushed to interpret. But lipreading tutor Helen Barrow describes how reading lips really works - the confusable consonants, the importance of context and body language - and gossip maven Lainey Lui explains why these regularly occurring lipreading gossip stories are unworthy of a second or even first glance.

    Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to the guests and more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/lipread.

    Content note: this episode contains three Category B swears.

    This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com.

    Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc.

    Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:

    • Kitsch, fun and useful skincare, haircare and accessories and styling tools. Get 30% off your entire order at MyKitsch.com/allusionist.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. 
    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

piouppioup ,

For etymology likers

and pun haters. Great podcast.

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