The Allusionist

Informações:

Sinopsis

Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman, TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Episodios

  • 154. Objectivity

    14/05/2022 Duración: 30min

    Couple of easy straightforward questions for us to chew on: 1. What is ‘objectivity’ supposed to mean? And 2. does it exist? Lewis Raven Wallace, a journalist and audiomaker fired from his public radio job over his blog post entitled ‘Objectivity is dead and I'm okay with it’, considers the principals and practice of objectivity, and what might be fairer ones. Find out more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/objectivity, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and not only are you supporting independent podcast, you get fortnightly patron-exclusive video livestreams and a Discord community full of language chat, craft pics and word game camaraderie. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.  The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Au

  • 153. In Character

    18/04/2022 Duración: 37min

    Chinese is one of the oldest still-spoken languages in the world. But when technologies arrived like telegraphy and computing, designed with the Roman alphabet in mind, if Chinese wanted to be able to participate then it had to choose between adapting, or paying a heavy price. And sometimes both were inevitable. Jing Tsu, author of Kingdom of Characters: the Language Revolution that Made China Modern, recounts how Chinese contended with obstacles like alphabetisation, Romanisation and standardisation. Find out more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/character, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and not only are you supporting independent podcast, you get fortnightly patron-exclusive video livestreams and a Discord community full of language chat, craft pics and word game camaraderie. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow,

  • 152. Asperger

    03/04/2022 Duración: 38min

    Hans Asperger would have been merely "a footnote in the history of autism", so why did he get to be the eponym in Asperger's syndrome? Because along with the usual problems medical eponyms pose, and his work not really earning him the honour, he collaborated with Nazis and sent children to a hospital where they would be experimented on and even killed. Activist, writer and academic Morénike Giwa Onaiwu discusses the stigma around terms like Asperger’s syndrome and autism, and historian Edith Sheffer talks about Hans Asperger and child psychiatry in Nazi Vienna. Content notes: Nazis, eugenics, ableism, child abuse, murder.  There are two versions of this episode. The content is the same, but this version contains background music; if you would prefer one with no music, you can get it right next to where you obtained this one. Find out more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/asperger, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. Sign up to

  • 152. Asperger - music-free version

    03/04/2022 Duración: 37min

    Hans Asperger would have been merely "a footnote in the history of autism", so why did he get to be the eponym in Asperger's syndrome? Because along with the usual problems medical eponyms pose, and his work not really earning him the honour, he collaborated with Nazis and sent children to a hospital where they would be experimented on and even killed. Activist, writer and academic Morénike Giwa Onaiwu discusses the stigma around terms like Asperger’s syndrome and autism, and historian Edith Sheffer talks about Hans Asperger and child psychiatry in Nazi Vienna. Content notes: Nazis, eugenics, ableism, child abuse, murder.  There are two versions of this episode. The content is the same, but this version contains no background music, just speech; if you would prefer one with music, you can get it right next to where you obtained this one. Find out more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/asperger, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word.

  • 151. The Bee's Knees

    18/03/2022 Duración: 30min

    Bad hats, cat's pyjamas, banting, goops, creatures, and playing possum - what WERE people going on about during the Golden Age of detective fiction? Caroline Crampton of Shedunnit podcast and I get sleuthing into the slang of the mystery novels of the 1920s and 1930s. Find out more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/beesknees, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. Versions of this episode were originally released by Caroline Crampton's Shedunnit podcast and the Shedunnit Book Club. Find both at shedunnitshow.com. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and not only are you supporting independent podcast, you get fortnightly patron-exclusive video livestreams and a Discord community full of language chat, craft pics and word game camaraderie. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.  The music is by Mart

  • 150. The Egg's Warning

    05/03/2022 Duración: 31min

    "Warning: read and keep," says the piece of paper inside Kinder Surprise Eggs, in 34 languages; yet most people do neither thing. But sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris did read and keep it, and study what the egg is trying to tell us: about Kinder Egg toy safety, yes, but also about multilingualism, about an object that says 'yes!' but the warning says 'no!', about the signs of human idiosyncracy that show themselves even in a mandatory corporate message. Find out more information about the topics in this episde at theallusionist.org/kinderegg, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and not only are you supporting independent podcast, you get fortnightly patron-exclusive video livestreams and a Discord community full of language chat, craft pics and word game camaraderie! The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allus

  • 149. Complex PTSD

    19/02/2022 Duración: 27min

    Complex PTSD is different to PTSD, but there's not that much understanding of it as its own condition - which was not much help to Stephanie Foo when she was diagnosed with it in 2018. We talk about facing trauma rather than burying it, self-care and self-soothing, endurance being an underrated word, and why people can quit sniping about triggers. Stephanie’s new book is What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma.  Content note: Stephanie refers fleetingly to the parental violence and abandonment she experienced, and we also mention sexual violence; but, we don’t discuss any of these things in detail. It’s a more general conversation about psychology and trauma, rather than stories of traumatisation. There are also a couple of swears. Find out more information about the topics in this episde at theallusionist.org/cptsd, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and not only are you supporting independen

  • 148. Bonus 2021

    23/12/2021 Duración: 25min

    I've been saving them up all year, and now it's time for the annual selection box of Bonus Bits! Things this year's guests said that couldn't fit into their episode, or weren't related to language, but ARE related to being a bonus bit. We've got percussive pan protests; the mating habits, and male-killing habits, of ladybirds; Icelandic aunts/uncles/cousins/wait which member of the extended family are you referring to?; Morse code machines; and a surprisingly heated topic, the semantics of salad. Links to all the original episodes featuring these guests are at theallusionist.org/bonus2021, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word. The show will return in February 2022, but sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist for patron-exclusive livestreams in January! The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.  Visit theallusionist.org/merch to obtain

  • 147. Survival: Today, Tomorrow part 2

    07/12/2021 Duración: 27min

    "It's really good if we can get the changes through here - that can be an inspiration for other other countries or other places in the world," says Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir, chair of Samtökin ’78, the national queer organization of Iceland. In 2019, Iceland passed the Gender Autonomy Act, which added an option for people to register their official gender as X; with it, the country's strictly binary-gendered naming laws were suddenly transformed. Other changes, like a new genderfree pronoun, are catching on; but overhauling a whole grammatically gendered language is no easy undertaking. Find out more about the topics covered in this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/todaytomorrow2; and browse down your podfeed to listen to Today, Tomorrow part 1 about how Icelandic officially obtains new words, and navigates the challenges of being an old language in the present day; and the episode Name V Law, about the Icelandic Naming Committee and the strict laws before the updates discusssed in this episode

  • 146. Survival: Today, Tomorrow part 1

    24/11/2021 Duración: 33min

    The Icelandic language has remained so stable over the centuries, speakers can read manuscripts from 900 years ago without too much trouble. And when they need a new word for more recent concepts, there are committees to coin one, so that the modern Icelandic lexicon includes such things as the internet, helicopters and mansplaining. Defending the language from the encroachment of English, however, is rather more challenging. Find out more about the topics covered in this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/todaytomorrow1. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses, bonus etymologies, a trip around Iceland's museums via me, AND a delightful community of Teamlusionists! 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. Stay in touch at tw

  • Allusionist 145. Parents

    07/11/2021 Duración: 44min

    When you're trans and pregnant, some of the vocabulary of pregnancy, birth and parenting might not fit you. In fact, some of it might not even work for people of ANY gender. Trans parents Freddy McConnell and CJ talk about gender-additive language, inclusive for women and other genders, and about how in English law, the word 'mother' becomes semantically very complicated indeed. Find out more about the topics covered in this episode at theallusionist.org/parents. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses and bonus etymologies, AND a delightful community of Teamlusionists! 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. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is M

  • Allusionist 144. Aro Ace

    26/10/2021 Duración: 27min

    The word 'asexual' has been used by humans describing themselves for several decades; 'aromantic' is newer. Both words enable people to voice identities that were unacknowledged for centuries, to find each other and build communities together, and to provide counternarratives to what the allosexuals are pushing. Lewis Brown, a writer and poet, speaks on behalf of AUREA, the Aromantic spectrum Union for Recognition, Education and Advocacy, about the history and use of 'asexual' and 'aromantic'. Happy Ace Week! aceweek.org. Find out more about the topics covered in this episode at theallusionist.org/aroace. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses and bonus etymologies, AND a delightful community of Teamlusionists! 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 the

  • 143. Hedge Rider

    13/10/2021 Duración: 26min

    Today it's the etymologies you requested! And a few you didn't! We've got witches, wizards, warlocks; conjurers and cloves; wood shavings, nice gone nasty, and a whole lot more. Plus, a bold method of scaring away a ghost, if you must. Find out more about the topics covered in this episode at theallusionist.org/hedgerider. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses and bonus etymologies. 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. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. To sponsor an episode of the show, contact them at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Acorn TV, the streaming service featuring hundreds of dramas, myster

  • 142. Zero

    25/09/2021 Duración: 24min

    Did any number cause as much trouble as zero? It stranded ships; it scrambles the brains of mathematicians, calendar users and computers; it even got itself banned in Florence. Math(s) communicator and drag queen Kyne explains the Terminator of numbers. Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/foodquiz. And submit requests for words you'd like me to investigate in the next episode at theallusionist.org/requests. Until 4 October 2021, you can stream the London Podfest performance of the new Allusionist stage show, full of eponyms, music and planets. Link is at theallusionist.org/events. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses, and discounted tickets for the Allusionist stage show. 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. Sta

  • 141. Food Quiz

    10/09/2021 Duración: 28min

    Quiz time! Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway of Home Cooking podcast join to deliver questions about food etymology, as well as what are the two words that make a dance track, and whether 'za' is an acceptable abbreviation for 'pizza'. Play along and keep track of your score using the interactive scoresheet at theallusionist.org/foodquiz. For the rest of September 2021, you can stream the London Podfest performance of the new Allusionist live show, full of eponyms, music and planets. Link is at theallusionist.org/events. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses, and discounted tickets for the Allusionist live show. 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. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and inst

  • Allusionist 140. Num8er5

    30/08/2021 Duración: 33min

    We use verbal numbers and we use numerals - why do we need both? Why do we have the ones we have? What happened to Roman numerals? And what's loserish about the fiftieth Super Bowl? Stephen Chrisomalis, professor of anthropology and linguistics and author of the book Reckonings: Numerals, Cognition and History, returns to the Allusionist to explain our current numbers, and why we shouldn't get too arrogant about them. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/numbers. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get discounted tickets to the upcoming Allusionist live show on 4 September 2021. 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. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. O

  • Tranquillusionist: 282 Salads

    14/08/2021 Duración: 34min

    This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, read all the salads from the 1950 recipe book 282 Ways of Making a Salad, with Favourite Recipes by British and American Personalities and Stars by Bebe Daniels and Jill Algood, with the purpose of giving your internal monologue a break by replacing it with some absolutely inconsequential words. Note: this is NOT the usual Allusionist. You will not learn anything about language at all, in fact the ideal outcome of the Tranquillusionists is that you’re asleep before the end.  Find all the Allusionist episodes - other Tranquillusionists and also ones that are actually about something - at theallusionist.org. The original music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s songs at palebirdmusic.com or on Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. And listen to his podcasts Neutrino Watch and Song By Song. Come to see me and Martin perform an all new Allusionist live show at the London Podcast Festival on 4 September 2021! Tickets to attend i

  • 139 Ladybird Ladybug

    12/07/2021 Duración: 21min

    They're not ladies and they're not birds; they're not even technically bugs! But that's not the most surprising thing about ladybirds/ladybugs and their brilliant variety of names. Tamsin Majerus AKA Dr Ladybird explains why ladybirds are so great; and Johanna Mayer and Elah Feder of the podcast Science Diction, about words and the science stories behind them, consider what's in a (ladybird) name. This episode is one half of a collaboration with Science Diction, so go to their feed to listen to their episode It’ll Never Fly, where they set me a quiz about the outlandish and intriguing names given to fruitfly genes. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/ladybird. 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.  Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get discounted tickets to the upcoming Allusi

  • 138. Mind My Mind

    27/06/2021 Duración: 31min

    Crazy, insane, nuts, mad, bonkers, psycho, schizo, OCD - casual vocabulary is strewn with mental health terms, but perhaps shouldn't be? Psychotherapist and podcaster Lily Sloane talks about what we're really saying when we use such words. Content note: in the second half of the show there is some mention of eating disorders. So if that’s not what you need to hear about today, tap out at the ad break. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/mind-my-mind. 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.  Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist by the end of June 2021, and I'll record the word or phrase of your choice to use as your phone alert or alarm! The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Mul

  • 137. Dude

    10/06/2021 Duración: 26min

    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 o

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