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Talk the Talk
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A podcast about language with Daniel Midgley and RTRfm 92.1, Perth
A podcast about language with Daniel Midgley and RTRfm 92.1, Perth

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Does grammar matter?

On one side: the language sticklers, who hold that good grammar is a necessity for communication, and even a matter of upholding standards and courtesy. But there's another side: that grammar rules are often just made up, designed to reinforce social barriers, and that an insistence on good grammar is a form of elitism and snobbery. Which view is supported by the facts?

Kylie, Ben, and Daniel are watching their words on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Do you get mansplained?

Many women will know the pain of the 'splain, but few have documented an extended mansplain so comically or in such detail as our guest for this episode, writer Lara B. Sharp. Her narrative with Johnny by the Pool is one for the ages.

She's helping Daniel, Ben, and Kylie bring it to life on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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We're listening to West African Pidgin English.

Millions of people speak it, but now it's getting a big boost from the BBC World Service. What's this language like? And will it change, now that it's hit the world stage?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie talk it over on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Happy Speech Pathology Week!

When we think of speech pathology, we might think of speaking exercises or correcting impediments. But it's just as much about access, training, and representation for people with vocal difficulties. So what's happening in the field?

Daniel and Ben speak with our new resident speechie Jamaica Grantis on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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What's the relationship between climate and sound?

A linguist has released a trio of papers showing that the sounds we use may be influenced by the air we breathe.
Is there anything to it? How have other scientists reacted? And how does an idea change minds?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie talk with Caleb Everett on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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The Talk the Talk team takes the stage in a special live episode.

The Yawuru language of Western Australia has been going dormant, but many courageous teachers are bringing it back for a new generation. Is it working? What is it to learn and teach one's traditional language? And what is the Yawuru language like?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie are joined by our special guest Dalisa Pigram on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Freedom of expression is again in the news.

Simon Tam has won his case before the US Supreme Court, allowing him to trademark the name of his all-Asian rock band, the Slants. But this ruling opens the door to people who want to trademark other offensive names — or hold on to existing ones. Is that okay? How do we distinguish between reclamation and vilification?

Linguist Daniel Midgley talks it over with Simon Tam on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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What kind of jokes would computers write?

Humour is a very human thing to do, but can computers learn to do it? They will, if the new generation of computational linguists has their way. But what would a computer find funny? And are computer scientists funny enough to pull this off?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie get serious about comedy on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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We love taking questions, and for this episode, we've got a lot of them.

What's behind the things we say, and why is language the way it is? Is calling someone a drop-kick secretly obscene? Why does Germany have so many names? And why are there italics?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie will answer these questions and so many more on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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It's not just about the covfefe.

This week, we are buried under an avalanche of words, and we're trying to dig ourselves out. Yes, covfefe happened, but Wonder Woman has also given rise to an ascendant gynocracy. And what about that spelling bee?

Daniel, Kylie, and Ben are looking at all the words on this episode of Talk the Talk.
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