Language

(Note: This interview originally aired back in November.) News flash: Cats do not meow at random. Nor do they hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds do have a purpose -- and they can carry important messages. But what ARE those messages? Our guest has some interesting answers: Susanne Schötz, a professor at Lund University in Sweden, is part of a long-standing research program exploring how and why cats use vocal communication...with each other and with their human caretakers.

Our guest is the well-regarded Pennsylvania-based poet, Ron Silliman, who has written and edited over 30 books, and who is seen as one of the founders of the so-called Language Poetry movement in American literature. A 2003 Literary Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, Silliman also received the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation in 2010 (among many other honors). He'll be reading from and talking about his work tonight (the 11th) as part of the 2nd Annual TulsaLitFest.

The Judy O. Berry Honorary Lecture Series is an annual symposium presented by the TU Department of Psychology; the series features topics related to risk and resilience in children and in families. This year's keynote speaker is our guest on StudioTulsa: Dr. Courtney Stevens is Associate Professor and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Our guest is Christina Dalcher, whose new novel, her first, is an equally engrossing and unsettling thriller called "Vox." Per a critic writing for Vanity Fair: "Dalcher's debut novel, set in a recognizable near future and sure to beg comparisons to Margaret Atwood's dystopian 'The Handmaid's Tale,' asks: if the number of words you could speak each day was suddenly and severely limited, what would you do to be heard?

On this edition of ST, we speak with Joseph Opala, an American historian who's known for his research on the so-called "Gullah Connection," i.e., the long historical thread linking the West African nation of Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Opala, an Oklahoma native, first learned of the Gullah people while serving in the Peace Corps, just after college; by now, he has spent more than four decades making historical discoveries about these people, their language, their culture, their lineage, and so forth.

On this installment of ST, a conversation about language and culture -- and their points of overlapping -- with Eduardo Faingold, who is Professor of Spanish and Linguistics here at the University of Tulsa. Faingold has served in the TU Department of Languages since 1995 and published eight books and 50 papers thus far in his career. Last month, he joined a well-regarded group of scholars responsible for analyzing language policy and advising the UN on both language minority rights and endangered languages.

On our show today, we speak by phone with David Skinner, an editor and writer whose work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The New Atlantis, Slate, The Washington Times, and other publications. He's also the editor of Humanities magazine, which is published by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he joins us to discuss his book, "The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published," which is just now out in paperback.

"Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch" (Encore presentation.)

Mar 25, 2013

(Please note: This program originally aired last year.) On this installment of our show, better living through savvy verb deployment. Our guest is Constance Hale, the bestselling author of "Sin and Syntax" and other books on language, writing, and word choice. A veteran journalist and teacher, Hale has a new book out called "Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing." It's a work in four chapters, each as informative as it is entertaining, and it's that rare example of a "how to" book on English usage that's genuinely accessible from start to finish.

Talk about the influential use of language.... Did you know that "bloviate," "lunatic fringe," "iffy," "military-industrial complex," "Anglophobia," "public relations," and "ottoman" are all terms or phrases that have been either coined or popularized by various U.S. Presidents over the years?

On this installment of our show, better living through savvy verb deployment. Our guest is Constance Hale, the bestselling author of "Sin and Syntax" and other books on language, writing, and word choice. A veteran journalist and teacher, Hale has a new book out called "Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing." It's a work in four chapters, each as informative as it is entertaining, and it's that rare example of a "how to" book on English usage that's genuinely accessible from start to finish.

On this edition of our show, which originally aired back in February, we hear from the writer and linguistic scholar Michael Erard, who's written about language for Science, Seed, Wired, The Atlantic, The New York Times, New Scientist, and other publications.