123 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.

    Tranquillusionist: Nmiigea

    Tranquillusionist: Nmiigea

    This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, for the purposes of quelling anxiety and stress and sleeplessness, read the lyrics to ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, with the words arranged in reverse alphabetical order.

    This episode resides at theallusionist.org/nmiigea; you can find all the Allusionist episodes, including other Tranquillusionists, at theallusionist.org.

    The original music is by Martin Austwick, based on the chords of ‘Imagine’ in alphabetical order. Hear Martin’s songs at palebirdmusic.com or on Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest independent podcasts. Listen to them all for free on your podding app or 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.

    Hope you are safe and well in body and mind.

    • 3 min
    Tranquillusionist: Your Soothing Words

    Tranquillusionist: Your Soothing Words

    We interrupt the Allusionist break to bring an emergency calming episode. I asked you listeners which words you find soothing. Here they are. Put this episode on a loop to help you sleep; play it to quell your inner monologue; use it as an unreasonably long text tone; whatever you want.

    View a list of the words at theallusionist.org/tranquillusionist, and find all the Allusionist episodes at theallusionist.org.

    Martin Austwick composed the beautiful music. Find his songs at palebirdmusic.com, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.

    The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest independent podcasts. Listen to them all for free on your podding app or 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.

    Hope you are safe and well in body and mind.

    • 10 min
    114. Alarm Bells

    114. Alarm Bells

    As the climate changes, so does the vocabulary around it - to amplify concern, to dampen concern, to serve corporate concerns… It is linguistically fraught! Journalist Amy Westervelt of the podcast Drilled, Alice Bell from the climate charity Possible, and Robin Webster from Climate Outreach explain some of the shifts in terminology, the squabbles and the industry interference - and how to communicate about climate in a way that does result in useful action.

    Find out more about this episode, the subject matter and the interviewees, at theallusionist.org/alarm-bells.

    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:

    • 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.
    • The RealReal, authenticated luxury consignment fashion, accessories, jewellery, art and homewares. Shop instore, on app or at therealreal.com and get 20% off select items with the promo code REAL.
    • Progressive. See your insurance options and start a quote online at progressive.com.
    • Sanditon on PBS, the adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel. Hear interviews with the cast on the Masterpiece Studio podcast on your podblasters or at pbs.org/masterpiecestudio.
    • 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.

    • 30 min
    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.
    • The RealReal, authenticated luxury consignment fashion, accessories, jewellery, art and homewares. Shop instore, on app or at therealreal.com and get 20% off select items with the promo code REAL.
    • Progressive. See your insurance options and start a quote online at progressive.com.
    • Sanditon on PBS, the adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel. Hear interviews with the cast on the Masterpiece Studio podcast on your podblasters or at pbs.org/masterpiecestudio.

    • 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

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