120 episodes

Adventures in language: TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

The Allusionist Radiotopia

    • Arts

Adventures in language: TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

    113. Zaltzology

    113. Zaltzology

    Today’s episode is something a bit different to usual. A few months ago, I was a guest on the podcast Ologies, a terrific show where the very funny and delightful and curious Alie Ward interviews an ologist of some kind - bisonologist (ologist of bisons), ludologist (video games), corvid thanatology (crow funerals!). 

    Alie interviewed me as an etymologist (I’m not a qualified etymologist, mind; just an enthusiast), and we cover etymologies of words including ‘buxom’, ‘mediocre’, ‘coccyx’, ‘lacuna’, bust some etymological myths, discuss some broader attitudes towards language, and wonder why so many people hate the word ‘moist’. Here’s some of our conversation; you can hear the full-length version on Ologies.

    There are a couple of swears in it, including what Alie calls ‘the Swiss Army Knife of cussing’.

    Visit theallusionist.org/zaltzology for more about this episode, and hear the full-length version of the conversation with Alie on Ologies alieward.com/ologies/etymology.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest independent podcasts. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

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

    This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
    • BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
    • Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
    • Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.

    • 27 min
    112. Quiz 2019

    112. Quiz 2019

    For your last Allusionist of 2019, here is a quiz all about words for you to play along with as you listen. Get a pen and paper to jot down your answers, or there’s an interactive answer form all ready for you at theallusionist.org/2019quiz.

    Let me know how you score in the quiz a at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

    The show will be back in January 2020. For all Allusionist episodes, extra material, transcripts, merch etc, visit http://theallusionist.org.

    If you enjoyed this quiz, you can also play the 2018 quiz at theallusionist.org/2018quiz.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest independent podcasts. Support our work by making a donation at radiotopia.fm, and along with the warm glow of satisfaction at helping us make more of the podcasts you like, you can get such rewards as challenge coins, stickers, AND an audio recording of the Allusionist 2019 live show No Title! Yours for a one-off donation of $4.35. I wanted a numerical amount that looked like a word, and 435 is pretty much YES in calculator font, plus 80085 seemed too expensive. Anyway, go and pledge for it at radiotopia.fm!

    This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
    • BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
    • Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

    • 15 min
    Allusionist special: Podcast Podcast

    Allusionist special: Podcast Podcast

    To celebrate Radiotopia’s fundraiser, here’s a special episode about the word that brought us all together… aaand a lot of you hate it.

    This piece was recorded in front of a live audience at PodCon in Seattle.

    If you love podcasts, or more specifically this podcast, or slightly less specifically but still quite specifically the podcasts in the Radiotopia collective, get involved by making a donation at Radiotopia.fm! You can get swag that’s exclusive to this fundraiser, or just purchase the glow of satisfaction at funding the audiotainment we make.

    Get your regular dose of the Allusionist at theallusionist.org.

    • 12 min
    111. Engraving part 2: Precious

    111. Engraving part 2: Precious

    Words engraved into metal are intended to last, though you don’t know who in the future is going to be reading them - your grandchildren wearing your wedding ring, the stranger who found your long-lost multitool, yourself at a time of need.

    Steven Yardley of Milne & Yardley talks about the disappearing craft of hand engraving. Max Ullmann of the antique jewellery shop A.R. Ullmann Ltd shows the objects engraved in centuries past. Wearing their grandmothers’ rings, Lisa Hack connects to family she doesn’t know, and Freddy McConnell *to the family he does. When *Eeva Sarlin’s ex-boyfriend lost her Leatherman multitool, she thought she’d never see it again - and were it not for an engraving, she wouldn’t have. And Arlie Adlington, who reports this episode, had words engraved into his ring to remind him of his reality when others threaten to ruin it.

    Go to theallusionist.org/precious to read more about this episode and find a transcript. Hear the first part of the pair of episodes about engraving at theallusionist.org/epitaph.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest independent podcasts. Support our work by making a donation at radiotopia.fm, and get such rewards as challenge coins, stickers, and the glow of satisfaction of helping us make more of the podcasts you like.

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

    This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
    • BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
    • Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

    • 35 min
    110. Engraving part 1: Epitaph

    110. Engraving part 1: Epitaph

    When Dave Nadelberg of Mortified used to visit his mother’s grave, he would look around at the nearby gravestones and see similar - or even the exact same - epitaphs for lots of different people. And it made him curious: who were these people, really? What were their personalities, what happened in their lives? And didn’t they deserve something more meaningful, more personal, than these bland and repetitive epitaphs? So when Dave’s father died a few years later, Dave was determined to choose better words to represent him in perpetuity.

    Go to theallusionist.org/epitaph to read more about this episode and find a transcript.

    Dave Nadelberg is the founder of Mortified: find the podcast, live events, books, TV series and documentary at getmortified.com.

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

    The Allusionist live show No Title is on tour in North America - for all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

    This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
    • Molekule air purification. For 10% off your first air purifier order, visit molekule.com and enter the code ALLUSIONIST10 at checkout.
    • BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
    • Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
    • Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

    • 27 min
    109. East West

    109. East West

    On 9 November 1989, the demolition of the Berlin Wall began. Within a year, Germany was unified. East Germany dissolved and was incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany, took on its currency and its rules - and its lexicon. Both West and East Germany had already been speaking German, of course; but there were differences, from the years of very concerted separation, the attempts at isolating East Germany from what was considered Western culture and capitalism, and the specifically East German concepts that had their own vocabulary. What was that vocabulary, and where did it go?

    Go to theallusionist.org/eastwest to find out more about this episode and the people who appear on it.

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

    The Allusionist live show No Title is on tour in North America - for all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

    This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
    • Molekule air purification. For 10% off your first air purifier order, visit molekule.com and enter the code ALLUSIONIST10 at checkout.
    • BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
    • Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
    • Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

    • 28 min

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