Themes Words About Words

Words About Words

Language is the stuff of thought -- the more we know about it, the better we will understand ourselves. These speakers are trying to crack the mystery.

Linguist Steven Pinker inspects the structure of sentences -- and discovers insight into human nature. Susan Savage-Rumbaugh finds a key to human language in the behavior of bonobo apes -- just as paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged shows us a set of 3.3-million-year-old hominid fossils that offer clues to the origins of speech. Erin McKean, meanwhile, gleefully collects and catalogs the products of modern wordmakers into a dictionary without limits.

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Play_iconJill Shargaa: Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome'

Jill Shargaa: Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome'

06:13 Posted: Aug 2014

Views: 994,984 | Comments: 155

Play_iconJulian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

09:58 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 4,050,230 | Comments: 180

Play_iconJamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

04:29 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 2,404,681 | Comments: 180

Play_iconAnne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?

Anne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?

17:13 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 1,050,713 | Comments: 93

Play_iconStephen Burt: Why people need poetry

Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry

13:12 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 806,856 | Comments: 59

Play_iconAjit Narayanan: A word game to communicate in any language

Ajit Narayanan: A word game to communicate in any language

15:43 Posted: Mar 2014

Views: 1,033,335 | Comments: 196

Play_iconSuzanne Talhouk: Don't kill your language

Suzanne Talhouk: Don't kill your language

14:12 Posted: Jan 2014

Views: 943,609 | Comments: 294

Play_iconAndrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction

Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction

11:55 Posted: Oct 2013

Views: 901,017 | Comments: 62

Play_iconSaki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets

Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets

08:10 Posted: Aug 2013

Views: 604,997 | Comments: 84

Play_iconDaniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake

Daniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake

09:35 Posted: Aug 2013

Views: 1,121,219 | Comments: 245

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