Lexicon Valley

Forgetting Your Roots

Words have a way of rebelling against their etymological parents, acquiring meanings of their own.

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Episode Notes

Many new words are formed by the coming together of two or more existing ones. Over time, however, that neologism may drift in meaning—or adopt a metaphorical connotation—such that it’s no longer the semantic sum of its parts. John McWhorter explains.

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo.

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About the Show

If you’ve ever had curious thoughts and questions about the ways we speak, read, and write, Lexicon Valley is the show for you. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

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