219 episodes

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

Lexicon Valley Slate Magazine

    • Education

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

    Nine Nasty Words

    Nine Nasty Words

    John McWhorter teases his new book about off-color English expressions, starting with c!#k.
    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
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 40 min
    The Invisible Complexities of Translation

    The Invisible Complexities of Translation

    A single word—take "self," for example—reveals the thorny nature of literary translation.
    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
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 46 min
    English Is Plain Weird

    English Is Plain Weird

    Don't be fooled into thinking that English is a typical language. It's not.
    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
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    Subject-Verb-Object. Right?

    Subject-Verb-Object. Right?

    For many languages, the idea that the subject belongs up front is plain backwards.
    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
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Parting Company

    Parting Company

    How did a word meaning "with bread" come to sprout its corporate connotation?
    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
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    Wallowing in Negativity

    Wallowing in Negativity

    From the evolution of ain't to double negatives, simply saying no is wonderfully complex.
    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
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 46 min

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