Jan 24, 2014 — The Oxford English Dictionary is at work on a monumental third edition. Why? We didn't have the OED before the 1850s. Is it so unthinkable that we should do without it going forward? What are dictionaries for, anyway? Alva NoŽ wonders.
Nov 19, 2013 — Sorry, "twerking" fans. Your word didn't come close according to the experts at Oxford Dictionaries. When everyone who is anyone seems to have posted a photo of themselves on the Web, "selfie" was the natural choice.
Nov 14, 2013 — Being bilingual opens up new worlds to speakers. It also appears to hold off the onset of dementia. Commentator Barbara King says that for these reasons, and more, she wishes her language faculty was more robust.
Nov 11, 2013 — It feels natural to say: "huh?" According to a team of linguists in the Netherlands, this word — huh? — is universal. Commentator Alva NoŽ wonders if that's really possible. Do universal words exists, words common to every language here on Earth?
Jul 29, 2013 — Are prisoners more or less likely to cooperate with each other than college students? Running the "prisoner's dilemma" experiment on both groups is one way to try and answer this question. Commentator Tania Lombrozo digs into the findings and uncovers a new problem: the "publisher's dilemma."
Jan 10, 2013 — In his new book, Jared Diamond describes how readily people in small-scale societies learn to speak many distinct languages. After reading Diamond's book, commentator Barbara J. King takes time to consider what we in the U.S. may lose in a sea of monolingualism.
May 3, 2012 — Language is a social tool, shaped by cultural values more than fixed biology — so says one linguist whose work in the Amazon stirs controversy. Commentator Barbara J. King explains why this debate about the underpinnings of language makes for good science.
Aug 4, 2011 — In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, an update on Syria, and the affects of a no-cost birth control mandate. In the second hour, linguist John McWhorter talks about his book, What Language Is, and filmmaker Greg Barker talks about his HBO documentary, Koran By Heart.