Linguistic Tics (106)

Linguistic tics: Friends, this week Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd sort of, you know, explore little linguistic tics, right?

Paralinguistic vs. linguistic tics (1:59)

Causes of linguistic tics; tics as style identifiers; some classic linguist tics (5:32)

Music bumper from “Telepop” by The Jerrys (16:35)

Linguistic tics in languages other than English (17:15)

Song: “Uh Huh-Oh No” by Anne Summers (21:16)

Rude Word of the Week: “dingbat” (23:58)

Music bumper from “Road to Rhodes” by Scott Helm. (28:35)

Some uses of linguistic tics (29:18)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 35:32

size: 32.6 Mb

rating: PG (Our song has a couple of mildly suggestive moments.)

Very ClassyAnne Summers
“Uh-Huh, Oh-No” (mp3)
from “Very Classy”
(Beatville Records)

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Ambiguity (105)

Ambiguity: Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd try very hard to figure out exactly what each other means, as they explore the topic of ambiguity.

Thanks to Paul L., Smaran D., Mary M., Michelle M., Dolores B., and Peter D. for PayPal donations (1:52)

Emails from Paul L., Adam R., Maria C., and Anne J. Also, Evan Stone, who composed and played our closing theme music, played in Beijing for the Olympic marathon. (2:53)

Ambiguity defined: “Capability of being understood in two or more ways; double or dubious signification, ambiguousness.” Synonyms of ambiguous: enigmatic, equivocal, indeterminate, obscure, vague, unintelligible, dubious, double-entendre, ambivalent, uncertain (8:34)

Structural ambiguity: syntactic ambiguity, lexical ambiguity, and misinterpretation (such as mondegreens) (12:53)

Music bumper from “Whatever Stupid” by Ben Thomas (18:20)

Intentional ambiguity (19:11)

Song: “Whatever” by Natalie (25:21)

Rude Word of the Week: “whatever” (29:14)

Music bumper from “Telepop” by The Jerrys. (32:36)

Amusing intentional ambiguities: double entendres, jokes for adults buried in children’s shows (as done by Soupy Sales), and the mighty Groucho Marx (33:23)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 41:03

size: 37.6 Mb

rating: PG (Our song has a rude word for “poop,” and we talk about sexual double-entendres.)

The MystagogueBen Thomas
“Whatever Stupid” (mp3)
from “The Mystagogue”
(Origin Records)

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Rock MeNatalie
“Whatever” (mp3)
from “Rock Me”
(Bright Pink Music)

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Syntax (104)

Syntax: This week it’s shake-up the order of sentences that Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd do, as explore the topic of syntax they shall.

Thanks to Emma H. and Mary T. for PayPal donations (2:07)

Syntax: not just word order, but sentence structure in general. Which came first, the thing or the act? (2:33)

Music bumper from “Finger Food” by the Shook-Russo Quartet (11:27)

Rhetorical uses of syntax (14:14)

Song: “Upside-Down” by Yo La Tengo (20:07)

Rude Word of the Week: “flip-flopper” (24:04)

Music bumper from “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” by the Jay Lawrence Trio. (27:37)

Syntactical variations from language to language (28:42)

Music courtesy of the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 34:49

size: 31.9 Mb

rating: G (We quote from a poem about Santa Claus.)

Upside-DownYo La Tengo
“Upside-Down” (mp3)
from “Upside-Down”
(Alias)

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Shook-Russo Quartet Featuring Greg GisbertThe Shook-Russo Quartet
“Finger Food” (mp3)
from “Shook-Russo Quartet Featuring Greg Gisbert”
(Summit Records)

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Thermal StrutJay Lawrence Trio
“Tell Me a Bedtime Story” (mp3)
from “Thermal Strut”
(OA2 Records)

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Please complete our audience survey. (103A)

The Word Nerds would  be very grateful if everyone listening could complete the audience survey on our website, thewordnerds.org. See the navigation column on the right side of the web page. This survey will give us valuable statistical evidence of who is listening to our show, so that any advertising we do is appropriate and directed at the right people.

If you complete the survey by August 30, 2008, you have the chance to win a number of prizes, including the grand prize of an iPod Touch.

Music: “Grapes” by Evan Stone

Time: 1:58

Size: 1.8 Mb

Prosody (103)

Prosody: Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd try not to use “that tone” with each other as they discuss prosody in speech and in poetry.

Thanks to Marilyn O. for a PayPal donation (1:54)

Speech prosody: the rhythm, intonation, and grouping of sounds that are part of human speech. (2:17)

Music bumper from “Heartless” by Michael Burks (15:44)

Prosody in poetry and music (18:13)

Song: “Tongue Tied” by Hollins Steele (26:55)

Rude Word of the Week: “beyotch” (30:49)

Music bumper from “Necessary Rain” by Emile Westergaard. (33:40)

Characteristic systems of prosody in different languages; the prosody of presidential names (with thanks to Ian Ayres, writing in the Freakonomics blog of the New York Times) (34:14)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 42:38

size: 39.1 Mb

rating: PG-13 (The Rude Word is a prosodic modification of a really rude word.)

Rhetoric, part 3: Rhetoric in Famous Speeches (102)

Rhetoric in Famous Speeches: Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd conclude their three-part series in rhetoric by presenting some examples of rhetoric and public discourse.

At the time this is posted, our web site is not fully functional. It will be fixed soon, so that you can find things and make PayPal donations. (1:54)

Dave and Barbara were recently featured in the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s podcast. (2:23)

This show features samples of great recorded rhetoric from the 20th and 21st centuries. Our principle sources were the websites American Rhetoric and The Free Information Society.

A couple of famous “mea culpa” speeches

  • Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech (September 23, 1952) (5:16)
  • Bill Clinton’s denial in the Monica Lewinsky scandal (January 26, 1998) (10:34)

Calls to action/calls to arms

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s call for war against Japan (December 8, 1941) (12:25)
  • Adolf Hitler’s declaration of war against Poland (September 1, 1939) (18:02)
  • Winston Churchill’s first speech as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (May 13, 1940) (21:56)

Music bumper from “Grapes” by Evan Stone (24:48)

Speeches at historical events

  • John F. Kennedy in Berlin (June 26, 1963) (26:02)
  • Ronald Reagan in Berlin (June 12, 1987) (28:31)
  • Martin Luther King at the Lincoln Memorial–the “Dream” speech (August 28, 1963) (30:20)

Song: “Speech” by LPG (35:40)

Rude Word of the Week: “broken record,” featuring a broken-record argument between Chris Matthews and Kevin James on MSNBC (Video of the full exchange) (May 15, 2008) (38:01)

Music bumper from “The Corner of Sacco and Vanzetti” by Shibboleth. (42:36)

Extemporaneous speech: Joseph Welch versus Joseph McCarthy in the U. S. Senate (Video clip) (June 9, 1954) (45:32)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 53:22

size: 48.9 Mb

rating: PG (Passing reference to sexual relations in our discussion of Bill Clinton)

Games and Wordplay (101)

Games and Wordplay: Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd explore word games, games with words, and ways of playing with words.

Dave thanks Brad and Naoko for donations, and Naoko, Ralsen, Asa, Jason and Hossein for their emails. (1:59)

This show was inspired by a game published by Brad Chase, Orijinz. We play a couple of rounds. (Thanks, Brad!) (6:51)

Music bumper from “Bongo Booty” by Vincent Van GoGo. (12:09)

Some of our favorite games for word nerds young and old (12:47)

  • Scrabble
  • Boggle
  • Taboo
  • Scattergories
  • Tribond

Some good sources for online word games: East of the Web, Word Plays, and good old Yahoo (21:29)

Song: “The Mating Game” by Bitter:Sweet (22:37)

Rude Word of the Week: “nucking futs” and other rude Spoonerisms (25:57)

Music bumper from “Tonight” by Zach Ashton. (29:39)

Spoonerisms as wordplay, including a very rude running skit from RTL Samstag Nacht Live based on a Spoonerism (30:07)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 38:59

size: 35.7 Mb

rating: R (Our rude word is a variant of the ever-rude “F-word.” We close with reference to a German television skit that is based totally on the “F-word.”)

The Mating GameBitter:Sweet
“The Mating Game” (mp3)
from “The Mating Game”
(Quango)

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Baby Talk (100)

Baby Talk: Howard Chang and Dave Shepherd use their best adult vocabulary as they discuss baby talk.

Dave thanks Andy, Beverley and Jianxia for their support through the PayPal donation button. (2:00)

This is show #100. The recording date, March 21, is the third anniversary not only of The Word Nerds, but also of Schlaflos in München. (2:14)

Thanks to Blue and Cihat for emails. (3:08)

Baby talk, reflecting the circle of human life; different applications for baby talk (4:18)

Music bumper from “Little Child” by Jamie Varley. (14:35)

How babies learn to speak: Noam Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar (15:27)

Song: “Boogie Woogie Baby” by Deanna Bogart (24:28)

Rude words of the week: “baby” (28:04)

Music bumper from “Court of Greedy Kings” by Val Davis. (30:25)

Stories of our own first words, and our children’s first words (30:43)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing music from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 37:28

size: 34.3 Mb

rating: PG (Howard very briefly mentions sexual contexts for baby talk.)

New AddressDeanna Bogart
“Boogie Woogie Baby” (mp3)
from “New Address”
(Deanna Bogart)

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You RideJamie Varley
“Little Child” (mp3)
from “You Ride”
(Sota Music)

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