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.

Email to a friend »

Subscribe to RSS feed »

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: 1,612,083 | Comments: 129

Play_iconJamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

04:29 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 1,596,189 | Comments: 154

Play_iconAnne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?

Anne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?

17:13 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 643,960 | Comments: 80

Play_iconStephen Burt: Why people need poetry

Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry

13:12 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 531,402 | Comments: 50

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: 946,764 | Comments: 192

Play_iconSuzanne Talhouk: Don't kill your language

Suzanne Talhouk: Don't kill your language

14:12 Posted: Jan 2014

Views: 859,948 | Comments: 283

Play_iconAndrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction

Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction

11:55 Posted: Oct 2013

Views: 872,404 | 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: 580,218 | Comments: 83

Play_iconDaniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake

Daniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake

09:35 Posted: Aug 2013

Views: 1,076,084 | Comments: 204

Play_iconShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!

ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!

06:10 Posted: May 2013

Views: 1,987,370 | Comments: 384

Comment on this Idea

8 total comments

This comment will be attributed to . Not ? Sign Out.

Characters remaining: 2000

This comment will be attributed to . Not ? Sign Out.

Characters remaining: 2000