Word Of Mouth

Series exploring the world of words and the ways in which we use them

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
Adam Bradley: The Poetry Of Pop2021012620210201 (R4)Adam Bradley joins Michael from Los Angeles and talks about the poetry of pop
Andrew Graham-dixon On The Naming Of Art Movements2016051720160815 (R4)Michael Rosen and Andrew Graham-Dixon on the naming of art movements and what it tells us.
Anglo Saxon2019082720190902 (R4)Michael Rosen explores the origins of English in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Michael Rosen explores the origins of English in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Are We All Speaking Football?2017092620171002 (R4)Lifelong Arsenal supporter Michael Rosen talks football cliches with Adam Hurrey.
Autism And Communication2017100320171009 (R4)Michael Rosen finds out what can be learnt about communication from people with autism.
Being A Polyglot2021011920210125 (R4)Michael talks to Alex Rawlings about being a polyglot
Best Wishes, Kind Regards Or None Of The Above?2018013020180205 (R4)We used to sign off letters using "yours faithfully" or "yours sincerely", then email came along and it was all "kind regards" and "best wishes". Now, it seems, we hardly sign off at all. With so many forms of written communication- email, text, Twitter, What's App- what new etiquettes are emerging, and where are 'digital natives' simply getting it wrong? Emma Gannon is author of Ctrl, Alt, Delete: How I Grew Up Online, and hosts the podcast of the same name. Producer Sally Heaven.

Best wishes or kind regards? What is the new etiquette for written communication?

Biscuit Names2019042320190429 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright look into the weird and wonderful world of biscuit names.

Michael Rosen and Laura Wright look into the weird and wonderful world of biscuit names.

Black Masculinity And Language2020081820200824 (R4)Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, and poet and writer JJ Bola, look at the construction of black masculinity in contemporary society and the impact of colonialism. They explore how language is used to define or constrain male identity and ask how modern society might transcend these inherited ideas. If you're not a roadman or a baller, who are you?
Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos
More about Jeffrey Boakye and JJ Bola:
Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture.
Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007.  He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons.
Jeffrey started writing his first book, Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 and is recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son.
JJ Bola's website is jjbola.com, twitter: https://twitter.com/JJ_Bola, instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jj_bola and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbola
You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93

Jeffrey Boakye on the language of black masculinity in a post-colonial world.

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, and poet and writer JJ Bola, look at the construction of black masculinity in contemporary society and the impact of colonialism. They explore how language is used to define or constrain male identity and ask how modern society might transcend these inherited ideas. If you're not a roadman or a baller, who are you?
Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos
More about Jeffrey Boakye and JJ Bola:
Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture.
Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007.  He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons.
Jeffrey started writing his first book, Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 and is recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son.
JJ Bola's website is jjbola.com, twitter: https://twitter.com/JJ_Bola, instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jj_bola and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbola
You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93

Break Ups And Brexit2016090620160912 (R4)The language of making and breaking relationships.
Bulls And Bears: Animal Metaphors In Business Language2021020220210208 (R4)Michael Rosen finds out from journalist Dhruti Shah why there are so many terms relating to animals in the business world. From purple squirrels to yak shaving, her aim is to open up these mysterious and sometimes excluding ways of using language to make business easier for everyone to understand.
Producer Beth O'Dea

Michael Rosen asks why there are so many terms related to animals in the business world.

Communicating Climate Change2020011420200120 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to George Marshall abut how best to communicate climate change

Michael Rosen talks to George Marshall about how best to communicate climate change.

Michael Rosen talks to George Marshall abut how best to communicate climate change

Michael Rosen talks to George Marshall about how best to communicate climate change.

Michael Rosen talks to George Marshall abut how best to communicate climate change

Communication And Dementia2018101620181022 (R4)Michael Rosen finds out how best to communicate with people with dementia. Professor Alison Wray shares her new research about the ways in which language is affected by dementia. She offers practical advice to carers, such as to respond to the feeling behind the words being used by the person with dementia rather than to the words themselves.
Producer Beth O'Dea
Related films: Dementia - The "Communication Disease" and Understanding the Challenges of Dementia Communication here:
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6kMlO8mkB09GNCLm1zbaHQ
Cucks, Snowflakes And Virtue Signalling: The New Us Political Lexicon2017050220170508 (R4)Michael Rosen asks George Lakoff about the new political words coming out of the US now.
David Walliams On Writing For Children2017052320200610 (R4)David Walliams talks to Michael Rosen about writing children's books.

David Walliams talks in depth to Michael Rosen about how he writes his children's books like Mr Stink and The Boy In The Dress. His acute awareness of language developed from a young age, and he was influenced by the books he read then, from Roald Dahl to James Bond. He talks about how The Shining was the surprising model for Awful Auntie, and about the boy who originally gave him the idea to start writing for children..

David Walliams Special2017052320170529 (R4)
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David Walliams talks to Michael Rosen about writing both children's books and comedy.

David Walliams talks in depth to Michael Rosen about how he writes his children's books like Mr Stink and The Boy In The Dress. His acute awareness of language developed from a young age, and he was influenced by the books he read then, from Roald Dahl to James Bond. He talks about how The Shining was the surprising model for Awful Auntie, and about the boy who originally gave him the idea to start writing for children..

Demystifying The Language Of The Courtroom2019012220190128 (R4)Family law barrister Lucy Reed talks to Michael Rosen about the language of the courtroom.

Family law barrister Lucy Reed talks to Michael Rosen about the language of the courtroom.

Directions: North South East And West2016092020160926 (R4)Michael Rosen uncovers how people talk and think about directions in different languages.
Dyslexia2019021220190218 (R4)Michael Rosen talks in depth about dyslexia with expert Professor Maggie Snowling.
Eat My Words: How To Describe Food Flavours2017091220170918 (R4)Michael Rosen asks Andi Oliver and Niki Segnit how they describe the flavours of food.
Emoji: The Future Of Language?2017022120170227 (R4)Is emoji really the world's fastest-growing language? Michael Rosen finds out.
Frenchified: The Influence Of French On English2017041120170417 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright find out how much of English comes from French roots.
Gabriel Gbadamosi2019081320190819 (R4)Michael Rosen meets London-born writer Gabriel Gbadamosi, to talk Dickens and dialect. With historical linguist Laura Wright they look at Gabriel's novel Vauxhall, and how the types of English found on the streets of London find their way into his work, and that of Dickens, Chaucer and Henry Green.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Michael Rosen meets London-born writer Gabriel Gbadamosi to talk on Dickens and dialect.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Game On: The Language Of Video Games2017051620170522 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright find out how video games influence language.
Give 'em An Inch... Imperial And Metric2018091820180924 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright talk to maths writer Rob Eastaway about imperial and metric measurements. How and why do they co-exist in the United Kingdom? Why are teenagers still talking in feet and inches when at school they are taught in centimetres? And where do the words 'gallon', 'tonne' 'acre' and "yard" come from? Producer Sally Heaven.

Michael Rosen and Laura Wright talk to Rob Eastaway about imperial and metric measurements

Glyn Maxwell2019072320190729 (R4)Michael Rosen explores the sound and rhythm of English with poet Glyn Maxwell.

Michael Rosen explores the sound and rhythm of English with poet Glyn Maxwell.

Haggard Hawks2018022020180226 (R4)Why do we 'let the cat out of the bag' or 'go the whole nine yards'? What is a hackle and why might it be raised? What does it mean to 'fribble'? Or to have a 'schnapsidee'? And what are 'cupid's kettle drums'?

Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright are joined by Paul Anthony Jones, the writer behind the popular etymology blog Haggard Hawks to talk about the origins of common idioms, the stories behind words we use every day, and the forgotten words Paul would like to see brought back into use.

Paul is the author of six books of word lore and linguistic trivia, including Haggard Hawks and Paltry Poltroons: The Origins of English in Ten Words, The Accidental Dictionary: The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words and - most recently - The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Yearbook of Forgotten Words.

Producer: Mair Bosworth.

Michael Rosen is joined by Paul Anthony Jones of popular etymology blog Haggard Hawks.

Hello! Is It Me You're Looking For? - The Art Of Greetings2018011620180122 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright are back with a new series of Word of Mouth, and appropriately enough they're starting with Hellos. And greetings. Former diplomat Andy Scott has greeted people in more than 60 countries, and he's written a book about his experiences called One Kiss or Two? The origins and psychology of greetings provide a rich subject and by the end of the programme they may all even reach an agreement about how many times to kiss..
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Michael Rosen and Laura Wright start a new series with hellos and greetings.

Hilary Mantel In Conversation With Michael Rosen20210209Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, talks to Michael Rosen about her life in language.
House Names2016041220160418 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to Dr Laura Wright about her new research on popular house names.
How Countries Got Their Names2017041820170424 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright find out how countries got their names.
How Shakespeare Spoke2016012620160201 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright discover how Shakespeare spoke.
How To Disagree2021011220210118 (R4)Michael Rosen and Darren Chetty explore ways of disagreeing that could help to unite us.
How To Talk Funny With Elis James2019011520190121 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to comedian Elis James about how to make language funny.

Michael Rosen talks to comedian Elis James about how to make language funny.

How To Talk Like A Samaritan2018051520180521 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to Mark Harris and Darran Latham, who volunteer for the Samaritans, about the ways in which talking and listening can best be used to help people in crisis.

You can call Samaritans anytime, free to from any phone, on 116 123. People can also contact us via email: jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of their nearest branch for face to face help.

Producer Beth O'Dea.

Michael Rosen talks to the Samaritans about how language can help people in crisis.

Intonation: The Music Of Speaking2017021420170220 (R4)Michael Rosen explores the tunes we sing when we are speaking, without even realising it.
Jacqueline Wilson Talks To Michael Rosen About Language2017042520170501 (R4)
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Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson talks to Michael Rosen about her love of language.

Writer Jacqueline Wilson talks to Michael Rosen about her love of language and how she came up with the idea of Tracy Beaker. She describes her imaginative life as a child, walking along telling stories to herself under her breath, fascinated by words. She can trace her interest in writing real and believable children to the books that she loved as a child, from Little Women to Lolita..
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Jeffrey Boakye On Black-related Words20190430Jeffrey Boakye talks to Michael Rosen about exploring black identity through language.

Jeffrey Boakye talks to Michael Rosen about exploring black identity through language.

Lane Greene On Editing20180925Economist Johnson language columnist Lane Greene talks to Michael Rosen and Laura Wright.
Language And Gender Identity2018021320180219 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright are joined by CN Lester, author of 'Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us' to talk about language and gender identity. What does it mean to be transgender and how is language being used (by and about) people who identify as transgender, non-binary or genderqueer?

Producer: Mair Bosworth.

Michael Rosen talks language and gender identity with CN Lester, author of Trans Like Me.

Language And Our Genes With Dr Steve Jones2017101720171023 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to Steve Jones about language and our genes.
Lgbtqia+ Slang20210216Chloe Davis, creator of The Queen's English dictionary of LGBTQIA+ slang, talks to Michael
Like, Totally Awesome: The Americanisation Of English2017022820170306 (R4)Michael Rosen on the Americanisation of English, with Lynne Murphy and Matthew Engel.
Listen And Learn: How To Make Better Conversation2019021920190225 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to the authors of The Talking Revolution about improving our dialogue.
Lost Words And Secret Connections2016091320160919 (R4)Michael Rosen on discovering lost words and finding hidden linguistic connections.
Lying2020012120200127 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk to Professor Dawn Archer about her work in evaluating deception: is it possible to tell when someone might be lying and what are the clues? Dawn shares her analysis of the language used in a news interview and a press conference by two men who were trying to deceive the public but were later found guilty of very serious crimes.
Producer Beth O'Dea

Michael Rosen talks to Professor Dawn Archer about how we might tell when someone is lying

Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk to Professor Dawn Archer about her work in evaluating deception: is it possible to tell when someone might be lying and what are the clues? Dawn shares her analysis of the language used in a news interview and a press conference by two men who were trying to deceive the public but were later found guilty of very serious crimes.
Producer Beth O'Dea

Michael Rosen talks to Professor Dawn Archer about how we might tell when someone is lying

Malorie Blackman On Language2017091920170925 (R4)
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Malorie Blackman, author of Noughts and Crosses, talks in depth to Michael Rosen.

Malorie Blackman, author of Noughts and Crosses, talks in depth to Michael Rosen about language: the writing that has shaped her and how she's used language in her own influential work. Her lifelong love of reading was fostered by the libraries she went to as a child. If she had to choose between being a reader and being a writer, she says, she'd choose being a reader..
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Me, Myself And Ai2018050120180507 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr. Laura Wright are joined in the studio by a virtual assistant and Tom Hewitson - conversation designer for the likes of Siri, Alexa and Cortana. They discuss whether virtual assistants can ever speak like actual humans, and how us humans are developing a new vernacular for machines. Mitsuku is a bot that won an award for most human-like AI and Tay is a now-deceased bot who learnt to speak like a Nazi.

Producers Eliza Lomas & Sally Heaven.

Michael is joined by Tom Hewitson, conversation designer for the likes of Siri and Alexa.

Metaphors2020010720200113 (R4)Michael Rosen returns to explore how metaphors shape our lives with author James Geary. We live, breathe and think in metaphors and communication would be impossible without them. In a far-reaching conversation, Michael and James tease out what they are, why they exist and why we need them in our language. And how it is that the Greek word from which the English word metaphor is derived is still in everyday use in its country of origin.

James Geary is the author of I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World.

Producer Beth O'Dea

Michael Rosen returns to explore how metaphors shape our lives with author James Geary. We live, breathe and think in metaphors and communication would be impossible without them. In a far-reaching conversation, Michael and James tease out what they are, why they exist and why we need them in our language. And how it is that the Greek word from which the English word metaphor is derived is still in everyday use in its country of origin.

Michael Rosen returns to explore how metaphors shape our lives with author James Geary. We live, breathe and think in metaphors and communication would be impossible without them. In a far-reaching conversation, Michael and James tease out what they are, why they exist and why we need them in our language. And how it is that the Greek word from which the English word metaphor is derived is still in everyday use in its country of origin.

Metaphors For The Past: From Dinosaurs To Victorian Values2016041920160425 (R4)Michael Rosen on how we talk about historical eras in order to define how we live now.
Michael Gets Voice Training2018012320180129 (R4)Vocal coaches Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher, authors of This is a Voice, give Michael Rosen a workout. They get him to read against natural pitch and intonation, which proves nearly impossible, and make him match his speaking pace to a walk around the studio. What we do with our consonants and our ability with a tongue twister also turn out to play a part in the ways in which we speak.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Vocal coaches Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher give Michael Rosen a thorough workout.

Mouthpiece: Turning The Spoken Word Into Songs2016021620160222 (R4)Michael Rosen hears about a project to turn interviews recorded in Parliament into songs.
Multicultural London English2018100220181008 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk about the Multicultural London English (MLE) dialect with Somali born journalist Ismail Einashe. Listen to this with your fam and you'll know what Stormzy means when he talks about this wasteman ting, and find out how MLE speakers are using new forms of grammar. This programme draws heavily on research on Multicultural London English published by Paul Kerswill, University of York, UK; Jenny Cheshire, Queen Mary University of London, UK; Susan Fox, University of Bern, Switzerland, and Eivind Torgersen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Sound clips are taken from ‘Spoken London English’, part of the English Language Teaching Resources website.

Producer Sally Heaven.

Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk Multicultural London English with Ismail Einashe.

Naming Diseases2018020620180212 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright explore how diseases are named and the political, economic and social impact of disease names past and present. Joining them are Laura Spinney, Science journalist and author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World and Professor Peter Piot; Ebola co-discoverer and AIDS pioneer, currently Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and professor of global health.

Producer: Sarah Addezio.

Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright explore how diseases are named.

Naming Emotions2018042420180430 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to Dr Tiffany Watt Smith about the words we use to try and describe our emotions, and what that can tell us about the way we feel now and have felt at different times in the past. Sadness once occupied the place that happiness now does in terms of life aspirations, and nostalgia was listed as a cause of death on death certificates - in the twentieth century.
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Michael Rosen talks to Tiffany Watt Smith about the words we use to describe our emotions.

Nhs Language Use2020012820200203 (R4)Michael Rosen talks with Sara Wilcox, NHS content designer, about how they decide which words to use on the NHS website. Consultant Dr Hugh Rayner describes his initiative to encourage consultants to write letters to their outpatient clinic patients directly and in clear language, rather than via their GP. When it comes to the NHS, communication can be a matter of life or death.
Subscribe to the Word of Mouth podcast and never miss an episode.
Producer Beth O'Dea
Related Links:
The content style guide in the NHS digital service manual: https://beta.nhs.uk/service-manual/content
The A to Z of NHS health writing: https://beta.nhs.uk/service-manual/content/a-to-z-of-NHS-health-writing
Writing outpatient letters to patients: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmj.m24?ijkey=PKDrAMEdQAxS1w5&keytype=ref
Please, write to me guidance: http://www.aomrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Please_write_to_me_Guidance_010918.pdf

Michael Rosen on how the NHS chooses words on its website and in consultants' letters.

Michael Rosen talks with Sara Wilcox, NHS content designer, about how they decide which words to use on the NHS website. Consultant Dr Hugh Rayner describes his initiative to encourage consultants to write letters to their outpatient clinic patients directly and in clear language, rather than via their GP. When it comes to the NHS, communication can be a matter of life or death.
Subscribe to the Word of Mouth podcast and never miss an episode.
Producer Beth O'Dea
Related Links:
The content style guide in the NHS digital service manual: https://beta.nhs.uk/service-manual/content
The A to Z of NHS health writing: https://beta.nhs.uk/service-manual/content/a-to-z-of-NHS-health-writing
Writing outpatient letters to patients: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmj.m24?ijkey=PKDrAMEdQAxS1w5&keytype=ref
Please, write to me guidance: http://www.aomrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Please_write_to_me_Guidance_010918.pdf

Michael Rosen on how the NHS chooses words on its website and in consultants' letters.

Michael Rosen asks Sara Wilcox about how they decide which words to use on the NHS website

Michael Rosen talks with Sara Wilcox, content designer with NHS.UK’s standards team, about how they decide which words to use on the NHS website. He also asks Dr Hugh Rayner about his initiative to get consultants to write letters to their outpatient clinic patients directly and in clear language.
Producer Beth O'Dea

Not My Type2018041720180423 (R4)How do fonts change the meaning of a message? What was Comic Sans invented for? Why was Obama's first election campaign so typographically bold? And which font would make you buy one chocolate bar over another?

Michael Rosen is joined by graphic designer, author and the font of all knowledge when it comes to fonts, Sarah Hyndman, to discuss the psychology of typefaces.

Sarah is the author of 3 books, including 'Why Fonts Matter' and 'How to Draw Type and Influence people'. She is also the founder of the Type Tasting studio, which aims to change the way we think and talk about typography through interactive and sensory experiences.

Producer Rebecca Ripley.

How do fonts change the meaning of a message? Michael Rosen is joined by Sarah Hyndman.

Othering Through The Centuries: Translation To Acronyms2020080420200810 (R4)Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen. talks to producer Tobi Kyeremateng and classicist Professor Katherine Harloe about othering in language: describing people in ways that exclude them and make them seem lesser, whether in terms of race, gender, sexuality or ability.
Translations of the classics have been politicised in identity terms both with race (as in adding 'white skin' in where it didn't exist) and also with ideals of female beauty which have been changed from the originals to reflect the pressures of contemporary white, western versions of beauty. Also sexuality - the originals don't other same sex relations in the way translations might other or omit them. The current language around 'BAME' and 'the traditional working class' is dangerous, even if people think they are being helpful.
The opposite of this is the power of language to include. For Sabrina, feminist translations of the Qu'ran enabled her to feel Islam as being much more inclusive, because the actual meaning in translation/interpretation shifted when written by a feminist.
What are the ways forward from here?
Producer Beth O'Dea

Sabrina Mahfouz talks to Tobi Kyeremateng and Katherine Harloe about othering in language.

Producer Beth O'Dea
Image copyright : Greg Morrison

Pet Or Pest? The Revealing Words We Use About Animals, And Dog Names2017020720170213 (R4)Michael Rosen on the language we use to talk about animals - and the names we give dogs.
Philip Pullman And Michael Rosen Talk About Language And Writing2015011320171111 (BBC7)
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Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen talk in depth about language and writing.
Philosophy In English2019080620190812 (R4)Michael Rosen looks at philosophy in English, from John Locke to corporate slogans.

Michael Rosen looks at philosophy in English, from John Locke to corporate slogans.

Pr - How Not To Do It2016042620160725 (R4)Michael Rosen on the words used in PR that have been rated as the most annoying. Iconic...
Protest Slogans2020082520200831 (R4)Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks about the provocative language of protest slogans with artist Zoe Buckman and writer Siana Bangura.
Image copyright : Greg Morrison
Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer, raised in London and Cairo. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and resident writer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her most recent theatre show was A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court) and her most recent publications as editor include Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making it Happen (Saqi) and Poems From a Green and Blue Planet (Hachette Children's).
Siana Bangura: sianabangura.com @Sianaarrgh
Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. Siana is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; she is the author of poetry collection, ‘Elephant’; and the producer of ‘1500 & Counting’, a documentary film investigating deaths in custody and police brutality in the UK. Siana works and campaigns on issues of race, class, and gender and their intersections and is currently working on projects focusing on climate change, the arms trade, and state violence. Her recent works include the short film 'Denim' and the play, 'Layila!'. Across her vast portfolio of work, Siana’s mission is to help move marginalised voices from the margins, to the centre.
Zoe Buckman: zoebuckman.com
Zoë Buckman (b. 1985 Hackney, East London) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography, exploring themes of Feminism, mortality, and equality.
Notable solo shows have included No Bleach Thick Enough, at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, Heavy Rag at Fort Gansevoort Gallery New York, Let Her Rave at Gavlak Gallery Los Angeles, Imprison Her Soft Hand at Project for Empty Space, Newark; Every Curve at PAPILLION ART, Los Angeles; and Present Life at Garis & Hahn Gallery, New York.
Group shows include those at The Museum of Art and Design NYC, MOCA Virginia, The Camden Arts Centre, London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Children’s Museum of the Arts, Paul Kasmin Gallery NY, Goodman Gallery South Africa, Jack Shainman Gallery NY, Monique Meloche Chicago, NYU Florence Italy, Grunwald Art Gallery, Indiana University, and the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA and The National Museum of African-American History & Culture, Washington, DC
Buckman studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP), was awarded an Art Matters Grant in 2017, The Art Change Maker Award 2019 at The New Jersey Visual Arts Center, and The Art and Social Impact Award 2020 at Baxter St NYC, and completed a residency at Mana Contemporary in 2017.
Public works include a mural, We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident, in collaboration with Natalie Frank at the Ford Foundation Live Gallery of New York Live Arts in NYC. In February 2018 Buckman unveiled her first Public Sculpture presented by Art Production Fund on Sunset Blv, Los Angeles, a large scale outdoor version of her neon sculpture Champ, which has been up for three years.
Buckman lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Sabrina Mahfouz in discussion with Zoe Buckman and Siana Bangura on protest slogans.

Sabrina Mahfouz talks about protest slogans with Siana Bangura and Zoe Buckman.

Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks about the provocative language of protest slogans with artist Zoe Buckman and writer Siana Bangura.
Image copyright : Greg Morrison
Sabrina Mahfouz: http://www.sabrinamahfouz.com/
Siana Bangura: sianabangura.com @Sianaarrgh
Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. Siana is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; she is the author of poetry collection, ‘Elephant’; and the producer of ‘1500 & Counting’, a documentary film investigating deaths in custody and police brutality in the UK. Siana works and campaigns on issues of race, class, and gender and their intersections and is currently working on projects focusing on climate change, the arms trade, and state violence. Her recent works include the short film 'Denim' and the play, 'Layila!'. Across her vast portfolio of work, Siana’s mission is to help move marginalised voices from the margins, to the centre.
Zoe Buckman: zoebuckman.com
Zoë Buckman (b. 1985 Hackney, East London) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography, exploring themes of Feminism, mortality, and equality.
Notable solo shows have included No Bleach Thick Enough, at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, Heavy Rag at Fort Gansevoort Gallery New York, Let Her Rave at Gavlak Gallery Los Angeles, Imprison Her Soft Hand at Project for Empty Space, Newark; Every Curve at PAPILLION ART, Los Angeles; and Present Life at Garis & Hahn Gallery, New York.
Group shows include those at The Museum of Art and Design NYC, MOCA Virginia, The Camden Arts Centre, London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Children’s Museum of the Arts, Paul Kasmin Gallery NY, Goodman Gallery South Africa, Jack Shainman Gallery NY, Monique Meloche Chicago, NYU Florence Italy, Grunwald Art Gallery, Indiana University, and the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA and The National Museum of African-American History & Culture, Washington, DC
Buckman studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP), was awarded an Art Matters Grant in 2017, The Art Change Maker Award 2019 at The New Jersey Visual Arts Center, and The Art and Social Impact Award 2020 at Baxter St NYC, and completed a residency at Mana Contemporary in 2017.
Public works include a mural, We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident, in collaboration with Natalie Frank at the Ford Foundation Live Gallery of New York Live Arts in NYC. In February 2018 Buckman unveiled her first Public Sculpture presented by Art Production Fund on Sunset Blv, Los Angeles, a large scale outdoor version of her neon sculpture Champ, which has been up for three years.
Buckman lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Pub Names2017102420171030 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright explain how pubs got their names.
Punctuation2016052420160530 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to Keith Houston about punctuation symbols and how they came to exist.
Raymond Antrobus20190528Michael Rosen meets acclaimed poet Raymond Antrobus. Winner of the 2018 Ted Hughes award for new work in poetry, his collection The Perserverence brings together autobiographical poems on race, deafness and family. He joins Michael Rosen to discuss language, sign language and deafness.

Producers: Melvin Rickarby and James Cook

Michael Rosen meets acclaimed poet Raymond Antrobus. Winner of the 2018 Ted Hughes award for new work in poetry, his collection The Perserverence brings together autobiographical poems on race, deafness and family. He joins Michael Rosen to discuss language, sign language and deafness.

Raymond Williams' Keywords20181023Michael Rosen talks to academic Colin MacCabe and Dr Laura Wright about Raymond Williams' 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, which looks at the changing meanings of words such as 'culture', 'art', 'nature' and 'society'. Often the changes in meaning of these words reflect the changing society in which they are being used. Colin MacCabe has spent the past decade updating Williams' work, and he and his team have added some words of their own. Producer Sally Heaven.

Michael Rosen talks to academic Colin MacCabe about Raymond Williams' book Keywords.

Reading: The Science And The Pleasure2016101120161017 (R4)BBC LovetoRead campaign: Michael Rosen on the pleasure of and the science behind reading.
Real Talk2020020420200210 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to conversation analyst Elizabeth Stokoe about the science of talk.

Michael Rosen talks to conversation analyst Elizabeth Stokoe about the science of talk.

Roald Dahl's Language2016050320160801 (R4)Michael Rosen on a new Roald Dahl dictionary collecting the amazing words he invented.
Romani2019051420190520 (R4)Damian Le Bas talks to Michael Rosen about the Romani language.

Michael Rosen talks about the Romani language with Damian Le Bas.

Damian Le Bas talks to Michael Rosen about the Romani language.

Shop Names2018052220180528 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright look at the history behind and witty wordplay used in shop names, with guest Greg Rowland of The Semiotic Alliance, which invents names for products, and favourite punning shop names tweeted in by the audience.. a florist called Back to the Fuchsia, anyone?
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Michael Rosen and Laura Wright look at the history behind and wordplay used in shop names.

Sindhu Vee2020021120200217 (R4)Michael talks to comedian Sindhu Vee about her life in language.
Slang2016011920170605 (R4)What is slang? Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright thrash it out with Jonathon Green.
Small Talk2016092720161003 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to psychotherapist Philippa Perry about the importance of small talk.
Snotrils And Jumpolines: Kids' Invented Words2016100420161010 (R4)Michael Rosen on the creative use and misuse of language by children.
Snuck And Sung: Irregular Verbs2016051020160808 (R4)Michael Rosen explores the verbs that are called irregular, and how they came to be.
Solving Crime With Forensic Linguistics20190129Dr John Olsson talks to Michael Rosen about how he uses forensic linguistics, specifically authorship analysis, to solve crimes including murder, false witness and hate mail. What he does is work out whether a text, email or letter is likely to have come from the person it says it is from - or whether, in some cases, it is in fact being sent by the person who has murdered them..
Producer Beth O'Dea

John Olsson talks to Michael Rosen about how he uses authorship analysis to solve murders.

John Olsson talks to Michael Rosen about how he uses authorship analysis to solve murders.

Stephen Fry And Michael Rosen Talk Language2018091120180917 (R4)
20200414 (R4)
Stephen Fry talks to presenter Michael Rosen about their mutual obsession with language.

Stephen Fry talks to presenter Michael Rosen about their mutual obsession with language: the particular joys they both find in speech and in writing and how language is developing. Starting at the very beginning with Stephen's theory about where a facility with words may come from, then dashing through the joy of finding connections between words in different languages, of listening to the rhythms of music-hall patter, in telephone voicemail messages and in rap, to sketch-writing with Hugh Laurie, presenting QI, the essential seriousness of comedy, the virtues of email and text as opposed to the sheer horror of having to talk on the telephone, and one time when Stephen's famous fluency broke down..
Producer Beth O'Dea

Stephen Fry talks to presenter Michael Rosen about their mutual obsession with language: the particular joys they both find in speech and in writing and how language is developing. Starting at the very beginning with Stephen's theory about where a facility with words may come from, then dashing through the joy of finding connections between words in different languages, of listening to the rhythms of music-hall patter, in telephone voicemail messages and in rap, to sketch-writing with Hugh Laurie, presenting QI, the essential seriousness of comedy, the virtues of email and text as opposed to the sheer horror of having to talk on the telephone, and one time when Stephen's famous fluency broke down..
Producer Beth O'Dea.

Steven Pinker On Language2016040520160411 (R4)Steven Pinker joins Michael Rosen to talk about his love of, and life in, language.
Susie Dent On Language2016101820161024 (R4)Michael Rosen talks to Countdown's Susie Dent about her love of words and language.
Taking Turns In Conversation2016020920160215 (R4)Michael Rosen and Laura Wright discuss how we take it in turns to talk, in conversation.
Talk Of The Town: How Places Got Their Names2019020520190211 (R4)From Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Zennor, via Great Snoring, Lost and Nempnett Thrubwell, Michael Rosen is joined by linguists Dr Laura Wright and Professor Richard Coates to explore the origins of the UK's place names. What are the meanings of some of the most common village name formations, and how did some of the stranger names come about?

Producer: Mair Bosworth

Michael Rosen and guests explore the origins of the UK's town and village names.

From Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Zennor, via Great Snoring, Lost and Nempnett Thrubwell, Michael Rosen is joined by linguists Dr Laura Wright and Professor Richard Coates to explore the origins of the UK's place names. What are the meanings of some of the most common village name formations, and how did some of the stranger names come about?

Michael Rosen and guests explore the origins of the UK's town and village names.

Talking Disability2021010520210111 (R4)Talking disability with Samantha Renke

Talking disability with Samantha Renke

Talking Or Texting?2016022320160229 (R4)Michael Rosen on research into the emotional effects of different kinds of communication.
Talking To Strangers2020081120200817 (R4)Do you enjoy having a random chat to a stranger?
Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen explores the benefits and barriers to talking to strangers.
The "liking gap" the "parasite threat" and "lesser minds": some of the terms used to describe the obstacles some of us face when it comes to talking to people we don't know. Fear of being rejected and straight up fear of other people can prevent us from engaging a complete stranger in conversation. But it's something psychologist Gillian Sandstrom and author Joe Keohane argue is vital for our wellbeing and on a wider scale reduces conflict and misunderstanding in increasingly fractious times. Joe and Gillian join Tanya Byron to talk about how to talk to strangers and how to overcome some of the fears and prejudices we may have about people we don't know. As for 'stranger danger' - is it time to kick that term to the kerb?

Produced by Maggie Ayre

Gillian Sandstrom is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pyschology at the University of Essex
Joe Keohane is a New York based journalist and author of the forthcoming book The Power of Strangers

Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen on talking to strangers.

Do you enjoy having a random chat to a stranger?
Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen explores the benefits and barriers to talking to strangers.
The "liking gap" the "parasite threat" and "lesser minds": some of the terms used to describe the obstacles some of us face when it comes to talking to people we don't know. Fear of being rejected and straight up fear of other people can prevent us from engaging a complete stranger in conversation. But it's something psychologist Gillian Sandstrom and author Joe Keohane argue is vital for our wellbeing and on a wider scale reduces conflict and misunderstanding in increasingly fractious times. Joe and Gillian join Tanya Byron to talk about how to talk to strangers and how to overcome some of the fears and prejudices we may have about people we don't know. As for 'stranger danger' - is it time to kick that term to the kerb?

Produced by Maggie Ayre

Gillian Sandstrom is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pyschology at the University of Essex
Joe Keohane is a New York based journalist and author of the forthcoming book The Power of Strangers

The First Language2019052120190527 (R4)Michael Rosen asks what the earliest language was and how it evolved. Michael joins linguist Dr Laura Wright on a journey to meet our meat-scavenging, fire-harnessing ancestors to discover the primal sources of language. There are thousands of languages today - is it possible to trace them back to a single ancestor? With anthropologist Robert Foley and linguist Maggie Tallerman.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

What was the earliest language and how did it evolve? Michael Rosen investigates.

Michael Rosen asks what the earliest language was and how it evolved. Michael joins linguist Dr Laura Wright on a journey to meet our meat-scavenging, fire-harnessing ancestors to discover the primal sources of language. There are thousands of languages today - is it possible to trace them back to a single ancestor? With anthropologist Robert Foley and linguist Maggie Tallerman.

What was the earliest language and how did it evolve? Michael Rosen investigates.

The Language Of Comics2019050720190513 (R4)Can a series of images be 'read' like a series of words? What makes something a language? We have written, spoken and signed languages, but could the sequences of images we see in comics also qualify? Michael Rosen explores the visual language of comics and graphic novels, with comics theorist and cognitive researcher Neil Cohn, author of The Visual Language of Comics.

Producer: Mair Bosworth

Michael Rosen explores the visual language of comics, with comics theorist Neil Cohn.

Can a series of images be 'read' like a series of words? What makes something a language? We have written, spoken and signed languages, but could the sequences of images we see in comics also qualify? Michael Rosen explores the visual language of comics and graphic novels, with comics theorist and cognitive researcher Neil Cohn, author of The Visual Language of Comics.

Michael Rosen explores the visual language of comics, with comics theorist Neil Cohn.

The Language Of Power And Inequality In Education And Leadership2020072120200727 (R4)Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks with charity strategist, writer and educator Iesha Small. They explore the language of power and inequality in modern education and leadership, and whether they've both learned to speak 'straight white male'. They also look at the ways in which words that are seemingly innocuous and commonly used in schools conceal deep social inequities, such as the word 'disadvantaged'.
Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos
More about Jeffrey Boakye:
Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture.
Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007.  He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons.
Jeffrey started writing his first book, Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 and is recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son.
You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93
Iesha Small is a writer, speaker and charity strategist passionate about creating a fairer society.
Iesha is Head of Strategy and Policy at the youth charity YHA. She has 15 years’ experience in the education sector as a teacher, governor and Innovation Lead at the Centre for Education and Youth think tank. She is passionate about using storytelling alongside research to create positive change and is the author of The Unexpected Leader.
She has written about education and society for The Guardian, been a columnist for Schools Week and contributed to books covering education, mental health, and gender identity. She splits her working week between YHA, leadership development and storytelling. Her clients have included Chartered College of Teaching, The National Theatre, Teach First and BBC Radio 4.

Jeffrey Boakye talks with Iesha Small on the language of power and inequality in education

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks with charity strategist, writer and educator Iesha Small. They explore the language of power and inequality in modern education and leadership, and whether they've both learned to speak 'straight white male'. They also look at the ways in which words that are seemingly innocuous and commonly used in schools conceal deep social inequities, such as the word 'disadvantaged'.
Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos
More about Jeffrey Boakye:
Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture.
Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007.  He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons.
Jeffrey started writing his first book, Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 and is recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son.
You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93
Iesha Small is a writer, speaker and charity strategist passionate about creating a fairer society.
Iesha is Head of Strategy and Policy at the youth charity YHA. She has 15 years’ experience in the education sector as a teacher, governor and Innovation Lead at the Centre for Education and Youth think tank. She is passionate about using storytelling alongside research to create positive change and is the author of The Unexpected Leader.
She has written about education and society for The Guardian, been a columnist for Schools Week and contributed to books covering education, mental health, and gender identity. She splits her working week between YHA, leadership development and storytelling. Her clients have included Chartered College of Teaching, The National Theatre, Teach First and BBC Radio 4.

The Language Of Science2019082020190826 (R4)Michael Rosen looks at how English is used in Science.
The Language Of The Pandemic2020071420200720 (R4)Professor Tanya Byron examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum.

Professor Tanya Byron examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum. Since the outbreak of Corona virus we have had to adopt a new way of talking about life during a pandemic. We've been 'shielding' and 'socially distancing'. Some of us have been 'furloughed'. We've been dismayed by the irresponsible behaviour of 'covidiots' and tried to avoid too much 'doom scrolling'. But has communication about the virus been clear and effective enough? Medical historian Mark Honigsbaum in his book The Pandemic Century - 100 years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris - argues that words matter and that we should learn the lessons of previous pandemics from Spanish Flu to Ebola.

Producer: Maggie Ayre

Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum. Since the outbreak of coronavirus we have had to adopt a new way of talking about life during a pandemic. We've been 'shielding' and 'socially distancing'. Some of us have been 'furloughed'. We've been dismayed by the irresponsible behaviour of 'covidiots' and tried to avoid too much 'doom scrolling'. But has communication about the virus been clear and effective enough? Medical historian Mark Honigsbaum in his book The Pandemic Century - 100 years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris - argues that words matter and that we should learn the lessons of previous pandemics from Spanish Flu to Ebola.

The Most Powerful Word2019071620190722 (R4)Michael Rosen explores the strange history of 'The', the most influential word in English. It's used more than twice as much as any other English word, and has given philosophers centuries of head-scratching. So how did a word which means nothing, and didn't even exist in Old English, come to dominate our language? With linguists Laura Wright and Jonathan Culpeper, and philosopher Barry Smith.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

The Postbag Edition2017050920170515 (R4)Michael Rosen answers listeners' language queries from the Word of Mouth inbox and postbag
The Power Of Telling Stories20200218Michael Rosen talks to storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy about how telling and listening to stories can transport both the teller and their audience in wonderfully unexpected ways. Stories change minds, shift perspectives and save lives. Human beings have been telling them to each other for thousands of years, and Clare has experienced the power of stories in transforming trauma into growth.
The podcast version of this programme contains the full conversation between Michael and Clare.
Producer Beth O'Dea
Clare's website: http://claremurphy.org/
https://blesma.org/how-we-help/making-generation-r/

Michael Rosen talks to storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy about the wonder of stories.

The Top 20 Words In English2016020220160208 (R4)Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright guide listeners through the 20 most commonly used words.
The Words That Saved Me2018050820180514 (R4)Sally Bayley talks to Michael Rosen about how words came to her rescue during childhood.
Tip Of The Tongue2016030120160307 (R4)Michael Rosen on one of the most frustrating language states: tip of the tongue.
T-shirt Slogans2018100920181015 (R4)Michael Rosen discusses slogan T-shirts with fashion historian Amber Butchart and fashion identity commentator Caryn Franklin. What do the words we wear say about us?

Slogan clothing is having - what fashion insiders might call - ‘a bit of a moment’ right now. From longstanding British fashion house Burberry with its new contemporary text based monogram to US designer Tory Burch’s political ‘Vote’ print, the slogan t-shirt is quite literally making a statement. And it’s not just on the catwalk - we’ve all seen them – and many of us are wearing them – from ‘Nike’s ‘old school ‘Just Do It’ to ‘This is What a Feminist Looks Like’ and these chest worn or cap emblazoned messages can reveal much about the identity of the wearer. They can tell us who they are - or - who they want to be. They can reveal hopes, dreams, political views. They are an intriguing insight into the concerns and obsessions of our twenty-first century society. Or are they just a bit of word play and fashionable fun?

Produced by Nicola Humphries

Michael Rosen discusses slogan T-shirts with Amber Butchart and Caryn Franklin.

Vikings2019073020190805 (R4)Michael Rosen discovers how the Vikings changed English. These invaders brought with them the words knife, gun, slaughter, ransack and anger. But then they settled, using their anger, verbs and great hair to transform our grammar, and our understanding of the landscape. With author Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and historical linguist Laura Wright.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Michael Rosen discovers how the Vikings changed English. These invaders brought with them the words knife, gun, slaughter, ransack and anger. But then they settled, using their anger, verbs and great hair to transform our grammar, and our understanding of the landscape. With author Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and historical linguist Laura Wright.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Wild Words2017101020171016 (R4)Robert Macfarlane tells Michael Rosen about his 'word-hoard' of endangered nature words.
Words Apart2018041020180416 (R4)Word of Mouth returns with a special programme in which Michael Rosen and guests Marina Warner and Barry Smith discuss the state of language and public debate.

With the rise of the internet there is more political discussion than ever. Yet this torrent of words seems to carry less understanding than ever. This has been attributed to many causes. Some say it is the anonymous nature of internet discussions, or the increasing disparity between rich and poor, or even the efficacy with which media (and propaganda) organisations can affect public opinion. But possibly the problem lies in language itself. Traditionally, political language has been a shared endeavour through which we express our differences. Perhaps now even the language itself has become partisan - words carry profoundly different meanings for different people and the shared understand that public debate relies on is much reduced. Two people can share a word - say government or sovereignty - but if the frame of reference for what that word means has become radically different it's hard to find the common ground on which meaningful debate can happen. So Michael Rosen and his guests are looking at the state of current political and public debate, delving into the philosophy of language and seeing how words get their meaning in the minds of their users. Perhaps, on top of all our other attendant crises, we can claim to be living through a crisis of language.

Producers James Cook and Beth O'Dea.

Michael Rosen asks if we are living through a crisis of language in public debate.

Words Roadshow In Birmingham2017013120170206 (R4)Michael Rosen discusses interesting family words and phrases with listeners in Birmingham.
Words Used About Women2020072820200803 (R4)Spinster, slut, bird, cat lady, ladette, hussy, bossy, goddess, wife. Guest presenter Nikki Bedi (sitting in for Michael Rosen) talks to Professor Deborah Cameron about the words used to talk about women.

Deborah Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. In 2007 she published The Myth of Mars and Venus, a general-interest book about language and gender differences. She writes a regular blog - 'Language: a feminist guide' - and occasionally performs as a linguistic stand up comedian.

Produced by Mair Bosworth

From hussy to bossy, spinster to slut, Professor Deborah Cameron on words used about women

Produced by Mair Bosworth