Podcast: The Allusionist

Radiotopia
Radiotopia
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Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman, TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionist8 months ago
When recipe writing is done well, the skill and effort involved might not be evident. But explaining the different steps clearly so that people of varying culinary abilities and equipment can cook it, and indeed want to make it, and translating flavour and physical actions and sensory experiences into words - all that takes work. Recipe writers MiMi Aye and Felicity Cloake and cookbook editor Rachel Greenhaus consider the verbal ingredients of a well-written recipe.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/food-into-words.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist live show is coming to London in September. For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

In August 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text **ALLUSIONIST **to 484848 to try it for free.
• Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
103. Food Into Words, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionist9 months ago
I don’t know exactly when or where, but at some point in the past few years, I stopped putting punctuation at the end of sentences. Why? The internet made me do it! Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch, cohost of Lingthusiasm podcast and the author of the new book Because Internet, explains how the internet changes the rules of language.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/new-rules.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. And it’s our annual survey season! Could you do me a big ole favour and spend a few minutes filling in the Survlusionist at surveynerds.com/allusionist? I will, of course, be using your opinions and information for nothing but the most nefarious purposes (like, er, trying to make the show better for you).

In July 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
• Remember Reading, a new family podcast from HarperCollins about classic children’s books. Find it on your podcast apps and at RememberReading.com.
102. New Rules, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionist9 months ago
Oysters, fragrances, canoeing, space stations, God, hats, and of course people - the word ‘bisexual’ has described a great deal of different things, with different meanings, in its fairly short existence. And that whole time, it has had a pretty bumpy ride.

Mark Wilkinson studied 70 years of Times newspapers to trace how the British mainstream press used the term.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/bisexual.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In June 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
•  Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
101. Two Or More, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionist10 months ago
To celebrate Pride Month, I’m playing two of the Allusionist episodes that have stuck with me the most during the show’s existence.

The first is Joins. You listeners talk about your particular experiences in your trans bodies, dealing with the available vocabulary for sex and the associated body parts.

(Content note: the episode contains language pertaining to sex and the associated body parts.)

Second is Pride: the story of how that word was chosen in 1970 for LGBTQ Pride events.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/joins-pride-rerun.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In June 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
•  Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
56+12. Joins & Pride, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionist10 months ago
To mark the 100th* episode of the Allusionist, here’s a celebratory parade of language-related facts: some of your favourites from the Allusionist back catalogue, some of my favourites from the Allusionist back catalogue, and a load of fresh facts making their Allusionist debut.

*short hundred, not long hundred.

Thanks for listening to the Allusionist! If you’ve liked any of the 100 episodes, tell someone else about it.

Content note: this episode contains swears.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/hundredth.

The Allusionist live tour of the new show, No Title, has landed in Australia! Get your tickets for Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin from theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In May 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
• Beer52, the craft beer discovery club. Each month they’ll deliver to you eight different craft beers, PLUS a snack, PLUS a copy of the award-winning Ferment magazine. If you’re in the UK, Beer52 will give you your first case for free; you just need to pay the £5.95 postage. Claim your free case today at beer52.com/allusionist.
• Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
100. The Hundredth, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
When there were no safe spaces to be gay, Polari allowed gay men to identify and communicate with each other, and to keep things secret from outsiders. Professor Paul Baker, author of the Polari dictionary and the new book Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language, explains how Polari emerged from criminal cant and London’s theatres and docks to be used a code language for gay men in the oppressive 1950s - and then, not long after, it entered the slang lexicons of the general public, via popular sketch comedy and the mouth of an annoyed princess.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/polari.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is touring in New Zealand and Australia. We’ve added extra shows in Christchurch and Melbourne, and will also be on in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. Leg it to theallusionist.org/events to get tickets.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In May 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
• Beer52, the craft beer discovery club. Each month they’ll deliver to you eight different craft beers, PLUS a snack, PLUS a copy of the award-winning Ferment magazine. If you’re in the UK, Beer52 will give you your first case for free; you just need to pay the £5.95 postage. Claim your free case today at beer52.com/allusionist.
99. Polari, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
Today: three pieces about alter egos, when your name - the words by which the world knows you - is replaced by another for particular purposes, such as competing in roller derby, writing popular but disreputable detective novels, or being legally anonymous, unidentified, or fake.

NB There is one strong swear in this episode.

Find out more about this episode and the people and facts in it at theallusionist.org/alter-ego.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is touring in New Zealand and Australia. We’ve added extra shows in Wellington and Christchurch; Melbourne already sold out; so rush to theallusionist.org/events to get tickets for Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In April 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free.
98. Alter Ego, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
“There are two ways to say ‘The future is now’: you can say it optimistically, like, ‘The future is now! Isn't that cool?’ Or you could be like, ‘The future is now, and we're totally screwed.’” Rose Eveleth, of the future-envisioning podcast Flash Forward, tracks the past and present of one of her favourite phrases.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/future.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is touring in New Zealand and Australia. Visit theallusionist.org/events for information about venues, dates and tickets for shows in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and a couple more TBA Australian cities.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In April 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free.
97. The Future is Now?, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
“Trust isn't a brand that you should use. It's a social glue that, when it breaks down, has really huge consequences to our lives.” Trust expert and author Rachel Botsman explains why we need to protect this word that has remained steadfast throughout its existence, but may now be too popular for its own good.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/trust.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is heading to New Zealand! Tickets for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are on sale now; find out more at theallusionist.org/events. Australia: you’ll be our next stop.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In March 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Molekule, a complete reinvention of the air purifier. For $75 off your first order, use the discount code ALLUSIONIST at the checkout at molekule.com.
• American Masters, the PBS podcast featuring new conversations with contemporary artists and cultural figures, along with a mix of previously unreleased interviews from the award-winning documentary film series. Subscribe in your podgatherer of choice.
96. Trust, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
When you’re watching a fantasy or science fiction show, and the characters are speaking a language that does not exist in this world but sounds like it could - that doesn’t happen by accident, or improvisation. A lot - a LOT! - of work goes into inventing new languages that sound real. Conlanger David Peterson talks about how he created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/verisimilitude.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow and facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In March 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
• The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.
• Molekule, a complete reinvention of the air purifier. For $75 off your first order, use the discount code ALLUSIONIST at the checkout at molekule.com.
95. Verisimilitude, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
On 15 November 1992, the New York Times printed a ‘Lexicon of Grunge’, a list of slang terms from the Seattle music scene. ‘Harsh realm’ = bummer. ‘Wack slacks’ = old ripped jeans. ‘Swingin’ on the flippity-flop’ = hanging out.

Not familiar with any of these? It’s OK, that’s not because you’re a cob nobbler (= loser). They were all made up. By Megan Jasper. Now the CEO of Sub Pop records, she recounts her linguistic prank.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/grungehoax.

NB there are a few swears in this episode.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow and facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In February 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
• The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.
94. Harsh Realm, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
‘Idle’, ‘trivial’, ‘scurrilous’: the word ‘gossip’ is often accompanied by uncomplimentary adjectives. But don’t dismiss it; from childbirth to Hollywood to political analysis to whisper networks, gossip may be more useful and serious than you realise. Lainey Lui, founder of laineygossip.com, and Buzzfeed News’ senior culture writer (and doctor of celebrity gossip) Anne Helen Petersen explain why.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/gossip.

NB there are a few swears in this episode.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow and facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In January 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
• The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.
93. Gossip, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
If you wince when you hear someone say “a whole nother level”, “hone in on” or “right from the gecko”, here’s some bad news: you might have to get used to it. The English language is full of words and expressions that were mistakes that stuck around. Countdown’s Susie Dent holds our hands and takes us on a tour of misspellings, mishearings, scrambled letters and bear cubs.

In the new Minillusionist at the end of the episode, we’re back on your favourite subject: swearing! And why the blazes are there all these fake acronym etymologies for swears?

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/err.

Follow Susie Dent on Twitter @susie_dent for regular doses of etymology, and to keep up with her writing and tour dates.

The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow and facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In January 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
92. To Err Is Human, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
For a bit of fun to celebrate Radiotopia’s 2018 fundraiser, this episode is a wordy quiz for you to play along with as you listen. Get a pen and paper, or fill in your answers online at http://theallusionist.org/2018quiz. Also! I’ve put together an Allusionist print-at-home puzzle book, featuring a wordsearch, crossword, some jollity with portmanteaus, … Continue reading Extra special QUIZ!
Extra special QUIZ!, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
Throughout the year, the people who appear on the Allusionist tell me a lot of interesting stuff. Not all of which is relevant to the episode they initially appeared in, so I stash it away in preparation for this moment: the annual bonus episode! Get ready for gory 19th century London slang, the rise and … Continue reading 91. Bonus 2018
91. Bonus 2018, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker didn’t think too much of it when, every year, a few letters were delivered to their New York apartment addressed to Santa. But then one year, 400 letters arrived. And they decided they had to answer them. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/dear-santa, and visit http://miracleon22ndstreet.com to learn … Continue reading 90. Dear Santa
90. Dear Santa, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
This is a story of feats of speed and endurance, of record-breakers, of champions… Typing champions. Recorded live at the Hot Docs Podcast Festival in the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto on 4 November 2018, WPM is performed by me and Martin Austwick. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/wpm. **There is … Continue reading 89. WPM
89. WPM, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
Why did you change your name? And why did you choose the name you chose? Listeners answer these two questions. Hear their stories of gender identity, family fallouts, marriages, divorces, doxxing, cults, and…just not liking your given name very much. Find more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/name-changers. This episode is part of Name Season here … Continue reading 88. Name Changers
88. Name Changers, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
Iceland has quite exacting laws about what its citizens can be named, and only around 4,000 names are on the officially approved list. If you want a name that deviates from that list, you have to send an application to the Icelandic Naming Committee, whose three members will decide whether or not you’re allowed it. … Continue reading 87. Name v. Law
87. Name v. Law, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
Radiotopia
Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Allusionistlast year
“It’s the word that you use the most often and the soonest to describe yourself, and yet nobody’s really ever talked about how it kind of makes me feel like this.” Until Duana Taha, who, after a lifetime of feelings about her own unique name, became the Name Therapist. Duana offers advice on how to … Continue reading 86. Name Therapy
86. Name Therapy, Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia
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