The Allusionist

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Small adventures in language by Helen Zaltzman from Answer Me This . This podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia . Visit theallusionist.org .

Series

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3 Pieces

festive episodes of The Allusionist

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27 Pieces

Small adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. Part of Radiotopia from PRX. http://theallusionist.org


Pieces

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Charles Dickens wrote about the plight of the impoverished and destitute members of British society. So how come his name is a synonym for rosy-che...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2017
  • Length: 24:22
Caption: Allusionist Winterval logo
There's a word that has become shorthand for 'the war on Christmas' with a side of 'political correctness gone mad': Winterval. It began in Novemb...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2017
  • Length: 11:08
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Breaking up is hard to do, and it's hard to put into appropriate words. Comedian Rosie Wilby seeks a better term for 'ex', and family law barrister...

  • Added: Mar 06, 2016
  • Length: 18:28
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The 2016 US election isn't going away anytime soon, so let's seek refuge in etymology. Consider the linguistically appropriate age of a senator, an...

  • Added: Feb 25, 2016
  • Length: 36:05
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You're looking for your perfect partner, but dating sites keep matching you with duds. So what do you do? Conduct an elaborate linguistic experimen...

  • Added: Feb 06, 2016
  • Length: 41:57
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Your online dating profile is the latest spin on a 300-year-old tradition of advertising yourself in order to find a spouse, a sexual partner, or s...

  • Added: Feb 03, 2016
  • Length: 41:08
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CONTENT WARNING: Be wary of listening to this episode around young children, as there may be life spoilers. Historian Greg Jenner traces the origin...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2015
  • Length: 25:35
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There’s a language which is said to be the smallest language in the world. It has around 123 words, five vowels, nine consonants, and apparently yo...

Bought by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


  • Added: Dec 14, 2015
  • Length: 20:24
  • Purchases: 1
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It's cathartic; it's a useful historical record; and it might help you behave better on public transport. Neil Katcher and Dave Nadelberg from Mort...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2015
  • Length: 18:58
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Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer from the podcast Criminal stop by to talk about the linguistic challenges of crime reporting. They also share their...

  • Added: Nov 02, 2015
  • Length: 23:05