225 episodes

Linguist Nicole Holliday and Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer discuss the ways language is changing, talk to scholars and writers, and set and solve word puzzles.

Spectacular Vernacular Slate Magazine

    • Education
    • 2.0 • 1 Rating

Linguist Nicole Holliday and Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer discuss the ways language is changing, talk to scholars and writers, and set and solve word puzzles.

    They Might Be Linguists

    They Might Be Linguists

    Welcome to Spectacular Vernacular, Slate’s new podcast about language! In our inaugural episode, hosts Ben Zimmer and Nicole Holliday marvel at Zaila Avant-garde’s historic win at Scripps National Spelling Bee. They also chat with They Might Be Giants’, John Linnell, about creating his new pandemic project in Latin. And finally, they do some fun language puzzles, and you can play along at home. 
    Do you have any language questions or fun facts to share? Email us at spectacular@slate.com. You can also use that email address to let us know if you’d like to take part in a future episode, where we’ll bring in listeners for some challenging wordplay.  
    You can listen to John Linnell’s new EP here.
    Produced by Jasmine Ellis and Cheyna Roth. 
    Subscribe to Slate Plus. It’s only $1 for the first month. To learn more, go to slate.com/spectacularplus.
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    • 31 min
    Russian Is My Mt. Everest

    Russian Is My Mt. Everest

    A grueling, painful, lifelong joy of studying Russian was sparked by Anna Karenina.
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
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    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
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    • 39 min
    Languages of Northern Africa

    Languages of Northern Africa

    From vowelless words to complex poetry, Berber to Somali.
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
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    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
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    • 45 min
    You're Gonna Hafta

    You're Gonna Hafta

    Deconstructing a single line of dialogue from Netflix's "The Crown."
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
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    • 46 min
    The Languages of Southeast Asia

    The Languages of Southeast Asia

    Why are so many of the languages of Southeast Asia "like Chinese"?
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
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    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
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    • 40 min
    Irregardless Make You Cringe? Relax.

    Irregardless Make You Cringe? Relax.

    English is full of redundancies—so why are we bothered by only a select few?
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
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    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
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    • 41 min

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