151 episodes

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

The Allusionist Helen Zaltzman

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 2.6K Ratings

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

    137. Dude

    137. Dude

    Exclamation; sign of agreement OR disapproval; gendered, but circumstantially gender-neutral; term of endearment: 'dude' can do it all! But its connotations of a laid-back, cool, masculine person are only a few decades old; before that, it meant...an uptight city-dwelling tourist?? Dude, seriously!

    There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/dude. Callie Wright's podcast is Queersplaining, which you can find in the kinds of places you obtain this podcast, and at queersplaining.com. 

    Want to be barked awake/gently introduced to the day by me saying the word of your choice? Become a patreon at patreon.com/allusionist by the end of this month of June 2021, and I will record the word or short phrase of your choice to use as your phone alert or alarm! All patrons get to choose a word, and all patrons get the recordings of all the patrons’ choices. This is going to be fun. Oh and you’re helping fund the show too, of course.

    The Allusionist theme is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. His new podcast is Neutrino Watch, and it's different every time you download it.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    This episode is sponsored by:

    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet - and undies and T-shirts too! Shop their Pride collection and give a piece of clothing for each one you buy, PLUS get 20 percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Catan, the building and trading board game where no two games are the same. Allusionist listeners get 10 percent off the original base game at catanshop.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 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.

    • 26 min
    136. Misogynoir

    136. Misogynoir

    “It's hard to address something if you can't actually name what it is,” says Moya Bailey, who coined a term that enables people to discuss a specific combination of racism and sexism: misogynoir.

    Find Moya Bailey's work at moyabailey.com. Her new book is Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women's Digital Resistance. 

    There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/misogynoir.

    The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. 

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    This episode is sponsored by:

    • Acorn TV, the streaming service featuring hundreds of dramas, mysteries and comedies from around the world. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to Acorn.TV and using my promo code allusionist. (Type that code in lower case!) 
    • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/allusionist. 
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 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.

    • 26 min
    135. SOS

    135. SOS

    SOS is a really versatile distress call. You can shout it; you can tap it out in Morse code; you can honk it on a horn; you can signal it with flashes of light; you can spell it out on the beach with debris from your wrecked ship.

    Explaining where SOS came from and what it means are maritime archivist Christian Ostersehlte from the German Maritime Museum, and Paul Tyreman from PK Porthcurno, the Museum of Global Telecommunications.

    Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/sos. 

    There are a couple of category B swears in this episode.

    The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. 

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    This episode is sponsored by:

    • Skillshare, the online learning community with thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people. Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/allusionist and get a free trial of Premium Membership.
    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet. Give a pair when you buy a pair, and get twenty percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 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.

    • 23 min
    Allusionist: Eclipse+

    Allusionist: Eclipse+

    It’s August 2007. Lauren Marks is a 27-year-old actor and a PhD student, spending the month directing a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s in a bar, standing onstage, performing a karaoke duet of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’…and then a blood vessel in her brain bursts. When she wakes up in hospital, days later, she has no internal monologue, and a vocabulary of only about forty words. 

    This is a rerun of an all time fave Allusionist, but with a few extra little bits added. Content note: this episode is about a medical crisis (everyone survives, though!), and has some Category A swears in it.

    Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/totaleclipse, and more about Lauren at http://astitchoftime.com.

    The special music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. 

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    This episode is sponsored by:

    • Build For Tomorrow, a a podcast that digs into a big question, historical moment, or critical innovation that can help us understand how change happens. Subscribe in the pod places!
    • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 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.

    • 29 min
    134. Lacuna

    134. Lacuna

    If you were in Brazil during the military dictatorship of 1964-1985, tried to bake a cake from a recipe in the newspaper, and were served with a sorry mess that tasted disgustingly salty, it wasn't your fault. What you thought was a recipe was actually a message from the newspaper that they were being censored. 

    Designer and researcher Crystian Cruz opens up the TOP SECRET files, to share the fake weather reports, single nipples vs a pair, soap opera characters getting bumped off, and the problems with kung fu. 

    Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/lacuna. 

    There is one swear towards the end of this episode.

    The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. 

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    This episode is sponsored by:

    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet. Give a pair when you buy a pair, and get twenty percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Catan, the building and trading board game where no two games are the same. Allusionist listeners get 10 percent off the original base game at catanshop.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 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.

    • 31 min
    133. Cake is Mighter than the Sword

    133. Cake is Mighter than the Sword

    What to do to stick it to the powers that be? Send your message through something they really care about: cake.

    In Buenos Aires, local tour guides Madi Lang and Juan Palacios introduce me to priest's balls and little cannons, the pastries laced with the sweet taste of 1880s trade union protests.

    There are a few swears and saucy references in this episode.

    Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/cake-sword. 

    The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. 

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    This episode is sponsored by:

    • Soft Voice, a terrific new fiction podcast about the mental health of 25-year-old London estate agent Lydia. Subscribe now on your pod app of choice.
    • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 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.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2.6K Ratings

2.6K Ratings

ShadowWings ,

Fantastic podcast

This show (in which Helen Zaltzman swishes language around in her mouth to see how it tastes) is amazing - a rare podcast combination of humorous, relevant, and rigorously researched.

Aryablindgirl ,

Absolutely delightful

Helen is not only pleasant-voiced, knowledgeable, and witty - she also hosts a fantastic series of guests and leads you on a journey through language that is as educational as it is enjoyable.

KaitaP ,

a pleasant surprise!

was pleasantly surprised to find a linguistic podcast that also focuses on the semiotics and social implications of language, instead of upholding it as a strict system of “rules” that can never change. love it! the guests are always a delight, too.

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