Words on the Move

Dec 15, 2016

If you’re worried that the word “literally” now means “figuratively,” or if you fret that acronyms are replacing actual words, today’s show will do one of two things: make you pull out your hair, or it’ll change your mind. The linguist John McWhorter says that changes to the English language are nothing new. Language, he says, isn’t some static thing that just is, “it’s actually something always becoming.” McWhorter will join us to discuss how languages evolve and why we should embrace the changes.

John McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and the author of sixteen books, including The Language Hoax, The Power of Babel, and his newest, Words on the Move: Why English Won’t—and Can’t—Sit Still (Like, Literally) [Amazon|Independent booksellers].