Lexicon Valley

I’ll start by letting Neal Whitman talk. From his blog posting “Podcast Linkfest” of March 20th:

I’ve been enjoying listening to a couple of language-related podcasts recently. First is one from Slate, called Lexicon Valley, hosted by Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield. In their six episodes to date, they have talked about:

  1. The history of the proscription against ending a sentence with a preposition
  2. The development of faggot as a slur against male homosexuals, with commentary by Arnold Zwicky
  3. Whether between you and I is a case of hypercorrection, or if another rule can describe its distribution.
  4. Black English, with commentary from Walt Wolfram (which they pronounce as “Wolf-Ram”)
  5. What a controversy the publication of Webster’s Third caused in 1961
  6. What insights Scrabble can and cannot give into the nature of English

The episodes are all about half an hour long, and even the ones I didn’t think I’d be too interested in (the dictionary, Scrabble) have turned out to be quite interesting after all. Furthermore, they’re linguistically sound. With all the complaints at Language Log and other places about how news media just can’t be bothered to fact-check anything related to language, I have yet to hear a piece of bad information here.

I’ve been impressed myself, and I’ve gotten great comments on “my” piece.

I really enjoyed working on this. Mike Vuolo interviewed me for about an hour on the phone — we’d set this up ahead of time, so I was prepared with pieces of background information, not just thinking on my feet, so to speak — and then he edited this material down, skillfully.

I’m working on a couple of postings with my faggot material in them, and hope to have some more things to say about between you and I as well.


One Response to “Lexicon Valley”

  1. Audio lingo « Sentence first Says:

    […] reaction from linguists and others has been very positive. Arnold Zwicky, who features in one show, is impressed, while Neal Whitman finds it interesting and linguistically […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: