Failure and Success (69)

Dave Shepherd and Howard Chang talk about failure and success, having recently seen many students succeed (and some fail) at the end of the school year.

Metaphors for success and failure in sports (3:46)

Success and failure in school (11:06)

Music bumper from “Loser Blues” by Electrobuddha (19:46)DaveHowardLoser.jpg

Euphemisms for losing (20:24)

Song: “Nothing to Lose,” by Clip (26:07)

Rude word of the week: “loser” (30:07)

Music bumper from “Loser,” by Comeg (32:53)

Winning and losing in a free-market, capitalist society; a pep talk (from Bill Gates? No; see the commment below.) (33:28)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 39:59
size: 27.5 Mb

rating: PG-13 (In our Rude Word segment we quote a rather rude definition from Urban Dictionary.)

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Greetings and Partings (66)

Dave Shepherd and Howard Chang discuss greetings and partings at the end of the school year, when they must say good-bye to a lot of people.

The functions of greetings and partings (1:50)

Music bumper from by “Goodbye, Good Luck, Good Riddance” by The Joel Lightman Band (18:26)

Idioms of greeting and parting (19:03)

Song: “Turn Around and Say Good Bye,” by C.J. Chenier (24:59)

Rude word of the week: “buzz off” (27:48)

Music bumper from “Goodbye Farewell,” by Dead Heart Bloom (29:51)

Do demographics play a role in forms of greetings and partings? (30:23)

The emotionality of saying good-bye (34:24)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 44:10
size: 30.4 Mb

rating: PG (Although our Rude Word is not particularly rough, we do hint at some much ruder substitutes for it.)

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Memory and Language (64)

Dave Shepherd and Howard Chang try to recall why they settled on the topic of Memory and Language. (2:11)

Storytelling (4:19)

Music bumper from “Remember” by Bob Kirkpatrick (10:40)

Attribution of words (11:25)

Song: “Future Memory,” by Heth and Jed (17:21)

Rude word of the week: “special” (21:11)

Music bumper from “She Hates Love Songs by Katie Davis (25:05)

Memory loss (25:33)

Do we need language to remember? (28:32)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 36:04
size: 25.3 Mb

rating: PG (We would not want to encourage any very young listener to use our Rude Word against classmates.)

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Non-verbal Communication (62)

Dave Shepherd and Howard Chang talk about environments in which we communicate without using any words: elevators, restrooms, automobiles, interviews (1:59)

Music bumper from “Jona Lee” by Roomful of Blues (12:32)

Non-verbal communication in romance, sports, and the classroom (12:51)

Music and dance (19:19)

Song: “There Ain’t No Words,” by Harrison Kennedy (22:08)

Rude word of the week: “dumb” (25:43)

Music bumper from “Flag of Democracy” by Ernie Van Veen (28:09)

Posture, body language, and gesture: making a good (or bad) impression without words (28:34)

Substitutes for body language in the cyberworld (32:22)

People who like to talk with gestures (33:11)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 37:50
size: 26 Mb

rating: PG-13 (We discuss the etiquette of the men’s room, as well as the sexual implications of social dancing.)

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Race and Language (60)

Dave Shepherd and Howard Chang welcome a voicemail on the Nerd Number from Hillary Israeli, on modern Hebrew as an invented language. (2:06)

Dave and Howard discuss racial labels and epithets, and the boundaries of acceptability. (4:35)

Music bumper from “Nada” by Jaime Beauchamp (16:24)

Race and identity: what is “race”? (17:01)

Song: “Black Madonna,” by Sophia Ramos (25:54)

Rude word of the week: “halfbreed” (29:06)

Music bumper from “Meant to Be” by Rob Costlow (31:52)

Race, ethnicity, and diversity in American English (32:29)

The legal language of race and ethnicity (33:43)

Ethnic labels as names for sports teams (35:00)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 39:57
size: 27.4 Mb

rating: R (We explore many aspects of race and speech, including many of the most hurtful and belittling racial epithets in modern American English.)

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Language of Deception (56)

Dave Shepherd welcomes Adam Curry, Ashlee Simpson, and Howard Stern to the Word Nerds’ studio. APRIL FOOLS! Just kidding! It’s really Dave and Howard Chang. Dave and Howard respond to voicemail from Patrick regarding the Rude Word of the Week. (1:59)

On April Fools Day, Dave and Howard explore the relationship of language to deception and humor. Dave presents a mental deception he learned from Frank Freer, the late magic dealer in Berlin. (4:06)

The trickster in myth; deception and theatrical performance (10:25)

Music bumper from by “Had Me Fooled” by The Defibulators (15:12)

Dave’s magic teacher, Jamy Ian Swiss, is the Honest Liar. (15:57)

Con games, hustles, deception in sales, and the Nigerian Prince email scam (16:52)

Song: “I Don’t Wanna Lie,” by Beatrice Ericsson (25:57)

Rude word of the week: “quack” (29:30)

Music bumper from “Just Looking” by The Jerrys (31:07)

Official and public deceptions: wagging the dog, and the “War Magician” (31:37)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 38:39
size: 26.5 Mb

rating: PG (Howard’s discussion of the trickster in mythology is briefly just slightly violent; otherwise this show is kid-safe.)

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