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Word of Mouth
28 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
The Art of Inventing Languages
How does one go about inventing a language? David J. Peterson is the creator of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for fantasy series Game of Thrones, as well as many others. He joins Michael Rosen for a playful discussion about all things conlang, and Michael tries his luck at inventing a new language for bacteria. Produced by Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol.
28 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Why is English so weird?
Why do we say 'I climbed' not 'I clomb'? Why is there a 'p' in 'receipt' and not in 'deceit'? Why is 'of' spelled with a 'f' when it sounds like a 'v'? Michael Rosen hears why from American linguist Arika Okrent. Together they talk about the strangeness of English and who is to blame for the mess. Produced by Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol.
28 minutes | May 11, 2021
The Shipping Forecast: Internet Fandom
Gretchen McCulloch, Internet Linguist, author of Because Internet and the host of the Lingthusiasm podcast, talks to Michael Rosen about what it is to "ship" and how fandoms and other subcommunities online are changing the English language. Clip from 'Mans Not Nice' Michael Rosen remix credited to MisterLucca Produced by Ellie Richold for BBC Audio in Bristol
28 minutes | May 4, 2021
Speech and Language Therapy
Michael talks to speech and language therapists Fiona Gillies and Tara Millan-Brophy. Fiona has been helping Michael with his rehabilitation post Covid-19 and takes him through his exercises. Producer for BBC Audio in Bristol: Sally Heaven
28 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Michael talks to Ralph Keyes about some of the unusual circumstances in which words and phrases are coined Producer for BBC Audio in Bristol : Sally Heaven
29 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Dr Elisabeth Carter talks to Michael about the language used by fraudsters who fake romantic relationships online for monetary gain Producer Sally Heaven Further information and help. Action Fraud provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. Phone: 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk Victim Support provides emotional and practical help to victims or witnesses of any crime, whether or not it has been reported to the police. Phone: 0808 16 89 111 (24/7) www.victimsupport.org.uk Victim Support NI offers emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across Northern Ireland. Phone: 028 9024 3133 www.victimsupportni.com Victim Support Scotland offers emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across Scotland. Phone: 0800 160 1985 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm). www.victimsupportsco.org.uk
29 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Michael Rosen and BBC presenter Ben Boulos talk about how we change names Produced by Sally Heaven for BBC Audio in Bristol
28 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Michael Rosen and historian Judith Flanders talk about how we categorise things, using alphabetical order and more. Produced by Sally Heaven for BBC Audio in Bristol
28 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Chloe Davis, creator of The Queen's English dictionary of LGBTQIA+ slang, talks to Michael about shade, fierce, and the importance of etymology. Producer Sally Heaven
28 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Hilary Mantel in conversation with Michael Rosen
Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, talks in depth to Michael about her life in language.
28 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Bulls and Bears: animal metaphors in business language
Michael Rosen asks journalist Dhruti Shah why there are so many animal terms in business.
0 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Being a Polyglot
Alex speaks 15 languages fluently. Does he have a special gift or could we all do this? Plus, what does 'to Donald Duck' mean in Hungarian? Producer Sally Heaven
28 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Adam Bradley: The Poetry of Pop
Literary critic Adam Bradley talks to Michael about pop lyrics, melody and performance, and how they all work together. Producer Sally Heaven.
27 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
How to Disagree
Michael Rosen and Darren Chetty explore ways of disagreeing that could help to unite us.
28 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
Michael Rosen is back. In the first in a new series, he meets actress and campaigner Samantha Renke and asks her how we talk about disability. Producer Sally Heaven.
28 minutes | Aug 25, 2020
Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks about the provocative language of protest slogans with artist Zoe Buckman and writer Siana Bangura. Image copyright : Greg Morrison Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer, raised in London and Cairo. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and resident writer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her most recent theatre show was A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court) and her most recent publications as editor include Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making it Happen (Saqi) and Poems From a Green and Blue Planet (Hachette Children's). Siana Bangura: sianabangura.com @Sianaarrgh Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. Siana is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; she is the author of poetry collection, ‘Elephant’; and the producer of ‘1500 & Counting’, a documentary film investigating deaths in custody and police brutality in the UK. Siana works and campaigns on issues of race, class, and gender and their intersections and is currently working on projects focusing on climate change, the arms trade, and state violence. Her recent works include the short film 'Denim' and the play, 'Layila!'. Across her vast portfolio of work, Siana’s mission is to help move marginalised voices from the margins, to the centre. Zoe Buckman: zoebuckman.com Zoë Buckman (b. 1985 Hackney, East London) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography, exploring themes of Feminism, mortality, and equality. Notable solo shows have included No Bleach Thick Enough, at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, Heavy Rag at Fort Gansevoort Gallery New York, Let Her Rave at Gavlak Gallery Los Angeles, Imprison Her Soft Hand at Project for Empty Space, Newark; Every Curve at PAPILLION ART, Los Angeles; and Present Life at Garis & Hahn Gallery, New York. Group shows include those at The Museum of Art and Design NYC, MOCA Virginia, The Camden Arts Centre, London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Children’s Museum of the Arts, Paul Kasmin Gallery NY, Goodman Gallery South Africa, Jack Shainman Gallery NY, Monique Meloche Chicago, NYU Florence Italy, Grunwald Art Gallery, Indiana University, and the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA and The National Museum of African-American History & Culture, Washington, DC Buckman studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP), was awarded an Art Matters Grant in 2017, The Art Change Maker Award 2019 at The New Jersey Visual Arts Center, and The Art and Social Impact Award 2020 at Baxter St NYC, and completed a residency at Mana Contemporary in 2017. Public works include a mural, We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident, in collaboration with Natalie Frank at the Ford Foundation Live Gallery of New York Live Arts in NYC. In February 2018 Buckman unveiled her first Public Sculpture presented by Art Production Fund on Sunset Blv, Los Angeles, a large scale outdoor version of her neon sculpture Champ, which has been up for three years. Buckman lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
28 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Black masculinity and language
Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, and poet and writer JJ Bola, look at the construction of black masculinity in contemporary society and the impact of colonialism. They explore how language is used to define or constrain male identity and ask how modern society might transcend these inherited ideas. If you're not a roadman or a baller, who are you? Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos More about Jeffrey Boakye and JJ Bola: Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007. He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons. Jeffrey started writing his first book, Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 and is recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son. JJ Bola's website is jjbola.com, twitter: https://twitter.com/JJ_Bola, instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jj_bola and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbola You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93
28 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Talking to Strangers
Do you enjoy having a random chat to a stranger? Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen explores the benefits and barriers to talking to strangers. The "liking gap" the "parasite threat" and "lesser minds": some of the terms used to describe the obstacles some of us face when it comes to talking to people we don't know. Fear of being rejected and straight up fear of other people can prevent us from engaging a complete stranger in conversation. But it's something psychologist Gillian Sandstrom and author Joe Keohane argue is vital for our wellbeing and on a wider scale reduces conflict and misunderstanding in increasingly fractious times. Joe and Gillian join Tanya Byron to talk about how to talk to strangers and how to overcome some of the fears and prejudices we may have about people we don't know. As for 'stranger danger' - is it time to kick that term to the kerb? Produced by Maggie Ayre Gillian Sandstrom is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pyschology at the University of Essex Joe Keohane is a New York based journalist and author of the forthcoming book The Power of Strangers
28 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
Othering through the centuries: Translation to acronyms
Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks to producer Tobi Kyeremateng and classicist Professor Katherine Harloe about othering in language: describing people in ways that exclude them and make them seem lesser. Translations of the classics have been politicised in identity terms, for example adding in 'white skin' in where it didn't exist. The current language around 'BAME' and "BIPOC" is contentious, even if people think they are being helpful. The opposite of this is the power of language to include. What are the ways forward from here? Image copyright : Greg Morrison Suggestions for further reading from Professor Harloe: There is much current debate within Classics over the racialised hierarchies based on skin colour and other physical features that existed in the ancient world, about how ideas about Greek and Roman culture have functioned to bolster and uphold White supremacist ideas, past and present. Much, though not all, of this scholarship is being done by woman classicists of colour. Aimee Hinds, a classicist and art historian, has written essays on “Hercules in White: Classical Reception, Art and Myth” and “Pygmalion, Polychromy and Inclusiveness in Classics’ about the pernicious effects of the Whitewashing of the ancient world in modern artistic traditions, scholarship and educational contexts. Dr Sarah Derbew’s research concerns the ways in which race and skin colour are represented and theorised in ancient Greek literature and art. Dr Mai Musié is an expert on the representation of Persians and Ethiopians in ancient Greek novels. Shelley P. Haley, Edward North Chair of Classics and Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College, New York, has been applying Black feminist approaches and critical race theory to study of Classics. Key essays of hers that discuss anti-blackness in classical translations include “Be Not Afraid of the Dark: Critical Race Theory and Classical Studies,” in Prejudice and Christian Beginnings: Investigating Race, Gender and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies and "Black Feminist Thought and Classics: Re-membering, Re-claiming, Re-empowering" in Feminist Theory and the Classics. Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer, raised in London and Cairo. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and resident writer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her most recent theatre show was A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court) and her most recent publications as editor include Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making it Happen (Saqi) and Poems From a Green and Blue Planet (Hachette Children's).
28 minutes | Jul 28, 2020
Words Used About Women
Spinster, slut, bird, cat lady, ladette, hussy, bossy, goddess, wife. Guest presenter Nikki Bedi (sitting in for Michael Rosen) talks to Professor Deborah Cameron about the words used to talk about women. Deborah Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. In 2007 she published The Myth of Mars and Venus, a general-interest book about language and gender differences. She writes a regular blog - 'Language: a feminist guide' - and occasionally performs as a linguistic stand up comedian. Produced by Mair Bosworth
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