Lexicon Valley

Wallowing in Negativity

From the evolution of ain’t to double negatives, simply saying no is wonderfully complex.

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Episode Notes

From Jamaican Patois to French to Mandarin, there’s a sort of universal quirkiness to what linguists call “negation”—which, simply put, means using some form of the word “no.” Turns out that wallowing in negativity can be great fun. And that ain’t no lie!

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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