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Society & Culture

Word of Mouth

Updated 4 days ago

Society & Culture
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Series exploring the world of words and the ways in which we use them

Read more

Series exploring the world of words and the ways in which we use them

iTunes Ratings

40 Ratings
Average Ratings
32
6
1
1
0

Excellent

By August Consumer - Feb 23 2019
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Thank God for opportunities to hear excellence. Thank you.

iTunes Ratings

40 Ratings
Average Ratings
32
6
1
1
0

Excellent

By August Consumer - Feb 23 2019
Read more
Thank God for opportunities to hear excellence. Thank you.
Cover image of Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

Latest release on Aug 25, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 4 days ago

Rank #1: Steven Pinker on Language

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Professor Steven Pinker joins Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright in the studio for a wide-ranging talk about his love of, and life working in, language. Steven is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and he's come up with some of the biggest and most exciting ideas about language. His books include The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and most recently, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Apr 05 2016

28mins

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Rank #2: Small Talk

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Pointless chit chat or vital social lubricant? Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk small talk with psychotherapist and writer Philippa Perry, author of 'How to Stay Sane'. Why do we bother with small talk? What are the rules of banter? And what are we really talking about when we talk about the weather?

Producer: Mair Bosworth.

Sep 27 2016

27mins

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Rank #3: Dyslexia

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Michael Rosen talks in depth about dyslexia: what it is, how to understand it and useful advice for parents and teachers, with expert Professor Maggie Snowling CBE, President of St John's College, Oxford.
Producer Beth O’Dea.

Feb 12 2019

27mins

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Rank #4: Anglo Saxon

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Michael Rosen explores the origins of English in the Anglo-Saxon world. Ancient riddles, poems and a multi-cultural Britain, in the company of historical linguist Dr Laura Wright and Professor Andy Orchard.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

Aug 27 2019

27mins

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Rank #5: The power of telling stories

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Michael Rosen talks to storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy about how telling and listening to stories can transport both the teller and their audience in wonderfully unexpected ways. Stories change minds, shift perspectives and save lives. Human beings have been telling them to each other for thousands of years, and Clare has experienced the power of stories in transforming trauma into growth.
The podcast version of this programme contains the full conversation between Michael and Clare.
Producer Beth O'Dea
Clare's website: http://claremurphy.org/ https://blesma.org/how-we-help/making-generation-r/

Feb 18 2020

43mins

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Rank #6: Talking or Texting?

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We take it for granted that we can maintain our friendships and family relationships now in so many ways: phone, voicemail, email, text, instant message, Facebook, Skype.. but do we have any idea of the effects of these very different modes of communication? Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright look at research into their emotional impact.
Leslie Seltzer is Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has tested the differing effects of a hug, a phone call and a text between mothers and daughters.
Dr Mirca Madianou is Reader in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research is into mothers from the Philippines who've come to work in the UK and then try to look after their children back home by Skype. What works best for families living on different sides of the world?
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Feb 23 2016

27mins

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Rank #7: Reading: The Science and the Pleasure

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As part of the BBC LovetoRead campaign, Michael Rosen talks about his first experience in reading, with Dr Laura Wright, and how and what he reads now. They're joined by cognitive psychologist Professor Kathy Rastle to explain the amazing process by which we read, and to find out how fast the average reader reads, and how many words they know..
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Oct 11 2016

27mins

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Rank #8: Slang

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What is slang, where does it come from, and which subjects attract the most slang words? Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright thrash it out with lexicographer of slang and swearing Jonathon Green. Producer Beth O'Dea
Jonathon Green is the author of Slang: A Very Short Introduction.

Jan 19 2016

27mins

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Rank #9: The Top 20 Words in English

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Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright guide us through the top 20 words in English. Not the best or most popular (that would include tentacular, ping-pong and sesquipedalian (look it up - it's a cracker). Plus a lot of swearing. No this is the 20 most commonly used. It's actually quite a boring list - full of 'And', 'I', 'of' etc - but look a little closer and it tells you all about the structure of language. The little words you really can't do without that glue all the other ones together.

This kind of list comes from a branch of lingustics called Corpus Linguistics. It looks at the frequency and distribution of words in large bodies of text or speech. You can apply it to anything - political debates, lonely hearts columns or pop songs. Which is exactly what our guest Prof Jonathan Culpeper has done. That's high end linguistics and Pharrell Williams. Only on Word of Mouth.

APPENDIX 1 - THE LIST!

* the
* be
* to
* of
* and
* a
* in
* that
* have
* I
* it
* for
* not
* on
* with
* he
* as
* you
* do
* at.

Feb 02 2016

27mins

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Rank #10: Lost Words and Secret Connections

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Have you ever wondered why there's no word for that universal affliction of early morning worry & wakefulness? Or how to describe the act of eking every last drop of washing up liquid out of the bottle? Mark Forsyth, author of The Etymologicon, takes Michael Rosen and linguist Dr Laura Wright on a lexical expedition into what he calls the 'sewer system' of the English language- where words lie lost, forgotten or banished- until now. Producer Kirsty McQuire.

Sep 13 2016

27mins

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Rank #11: Listen and learn: how to make better conversation

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Michael Rosen talks to Eddy Canfor-Dumas and Peter Osborn about how improving our dialogue is good for everything, from helping excluded children to resolving conflict. Producer Sally Heaven.

Feb 19 2019

27mins

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Rank #12: Vikings

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Michael Rosen discovers how the Vikings changed English. These invaders brought with them the words knife, gun, slaughter, ransack and anger. But then they settled, using their anger, verbs and great hair to transform our grammar, and our understanding of the landscape. With author Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and historical linguist Laura Wright.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Jul 30 2019

27mins

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Rank #13: Andrew Graham-Dixon on the naming of art movements

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Michael Rosen and art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon take a tour through the naming of art movements. Surrealism, Impressionism, the Renaissance, the Pre-Raphaelites, Modern, Contemporary - how did they get their names and what does that tell us? Which terms have entered the language? With linguist Dr Laura Wright.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

May 17 2016

27mins

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Rank #14: Stephen Fry and Michael Rosen talk language

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Stephen Fry talks to presenter Michael Rosen about their mutual obsession with language: the particular joys they both find in speech and in writing and how language is developing. Starting at the very beginning with Stephen's theory about where a facility with words may come from, then dashing through the joy of finding connections between words in different languages, of listening to the rhythms of music-hall patter, in telephone voicemail messages and in rap, to sketch-writing with Hugh Laurie, presenting QI, the essential seriousness of comedy, the virtues of email and text as opposed to the sheer horror of having to talk on the telephone, and one time when Stephen's famous fluency broke down..
Producer Beth O'Dea

Sep 11 2018

27mins

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Rank #15: Pet or Pest? The revealing words we use about animals, and dog names

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Michael Rosen and Laura Wright on the language we use to talk about animals - and the names we give our dogs. Do the words used show changing attitudes? They're joined by Professor Alison Sealey, linguist at Lancaster University and co-investigator on a new study: People, Products, Pests and Pets: The Discursive Representation of Animals.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Feb 07 2017

27mins

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Rank #16: Punctuation

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Michael Rosen talks to Keith Houston about punctuation symbols and how they came to exist. Keith is the author of Shady Characters: Ampersands, Interrobangs and Other Typographical Curiosities.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

May 24 2016

27mins

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Rank #17: Snuck and Sung: Irregular Verbs

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Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright explore irregular verbs with Dr Marcelle Cole, and a contribution from Steven Pinker.
What are they, where did they come from, and why do they exist in English? Are there any new ones being produced, and how are they used in real life?
Producer Beth O'Dea.

May 10 2016

27mins

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Rank #18: Naming Emotions

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Michael Rosen talks to Dr Tiffany Watt Smith about the words we use to try and describe our emotions, and what that can tell us about the way we feel now and have felt at different times in the past. Sadness once occupied the place that happiness now does in terms of life aspirations, and nostalgia was listed as a cause of death on death certificates - in the twentieth century.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Apr 24 2018

28mins

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Rank #19: Shop Names

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Michael Rosen and Laura Wright look at the history behind and witty wordplay used in shop names, with guest Greg Rowland of The Semiotic Alliance, which invents names for products, and favourite punning shop names tweeted in by the audience.. a florist called Back to the Fuchsia, anyone?
Producer Beth O'Dea.

May 22 2018

28mins

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Rank #20: Haggard Hawks

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Why do we 'let the cat out of the bag' or 'go the whole nine yards'? What is a hackle and why might it be raised? What does it mean to 'fribble'? Or to have a 'schnapsidee'? And what are 'cupid's kettle drums'?

Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright are joined by Paul Anthony Jones, the writer behind the popular etymology blog Haggard Hawks to talk about the origins of common idioms, the stories behind words we use every day, and the forgotten words Paul would like to see brought back into use.

Paul is the author of six books of word lore and linguistic trivia, including Haggard Hawks and Paltry Poltroons: The Origins of English in Ten Words, The Accidental Dictionary: The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words and - most recently - The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Yearbook of Forgotten Words.

Producer: Mair Bosworth.

Feb 20 2018

28mins

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