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Amanda Montell On 'The Language Of Fanaticism'

Renee Bright

We can probably all picture the stereotype of cult members: glassy-eyed, dressed alike, fixated on their leader. And then we might feel smug, because we’re nothing like them. Right?

As writer Amanda Montell argues in her book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, there’s a good chance most of us share more cult-like behaviors with devoted acolytes than we care to admit. Cults, she writes, are less about drinking the Kool-Aid and far more about language and how we use it to identify who is in — and out — of our group. A linguist and writer by profession, Montell examines many of our society’s everyday groups — CrossFit, Instagram feeds, start-ups — to reveal that cultish thinking is far more pervasive than we may think. Amanda Montell joins us Friday at 11am, and again at 7pm.

Amanda Montell’s book is Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism [Amazon|Bookshop]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.