About This Blog

I work in public radio as a reporter, editor and podcaster. Here’s the official story. The unofficial story is that I love language and I love audio. I make the two come together in my podcast.

This blog also appears at PRI’s The World aka The Big Show. The blog offers up a few extras in support of the podcast. The pod is the thing, so please listen to the Soundclouds that I embed in each post, or consider subscribing– free of course– via iTunes, or whatever your favorite pod-deliverer may be.

The source material for both the pod and the blog comes from my own interviews,  from my Boston-based colleagues at The World or from our co-producer, the BBC.


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79 responses to “About This Blog

  1. Diana

    Hello Patrick,

    I can’t tell you how much I love your Podcast the World in Words, I have been listening since the very beginning. The opening montange ( and how it changed) is great and I just love the music. I would really love to know the name of the song in your opening.

    Oh and a funny little addition to the swearing collection from Colombia: “Mas amarrado que peo de mula” for someone who is a real skinflint (direct translation “more tied-up than a mule’s fart).

    cheers
    Diana
    Vancouver, BC
    Canada

  2. patricox

    Hi Diana,
    Thanks for the feedback…and nice curse!
    The music comes courtesy of Lily Allen and her song “LDN.”
    Patrick

  3. Hi Patrick,

    I just discovered your podcasts and enjoy them thoroughly. I especially liked the story on Georgian music. It reminded me of a great film I saw this year, the Singing Revolution, about the revival of singing in Estonia. See http://www.singingrevolution.com/

    As someone with a lifelong interest in languages and a curious ability to rapidly learn languages, I find myself currently with a company called Kwikpoint that develops “visual language” tools that allow people who do not speak the same language to communicate by pointing to pictures. The Voice of America did a story on us and I thought you may want to consider doing the same. It would be interesting to do a tory about something so visual, but you could post examples of our graphic imagery on your blog.

    Here’s the link to that story, showing our CEO and myself. I am Director of Product Development.

    Keep up the good work.

    Larry

  4. Hi Patrick,

    I came across your blog after looking for the photo taken by Lana Slezik of the recently murdered Afghanistan senior police woman, Malalai Kakar. Have you seen it? Bewildering, that she would have to wear traditional dress over her uniform.

    I’m writing, because I would like to know when your particular segment runs on The World.

    After reading your blog posts, I smiled, because words and languages are right up my alley. Interesting coverage, by the way!

    Like you, one of my favorite jobs ever was cleaning bathrooms. What a great way to have time to think and get rid of frustrations! Scrubbing bathrooms takes second place to being a full-time French teacher in a private school where I was known to do the moon walk for my students. Just think School of Rock. Or should I not admit that?

    I look forward to following your podcasts!

    Karey

  5. patricox

    Hi Karey,

    I’m glad you like the podcast. Please tell your friends…

    We don’t run The World in Words as a named segment on The World. But we do broadcast (often in compressed form) many of the same stories and interviews that you can hear on the podcast. That said, I also put out a lot of podcast-exclusive material that you won’t hear on The Big Show.

    Hope that all makes sense…and bathroom cleaners of the world, unite!

    Patrick

  6. Tina Nguyen

    Patrick,

    Wonderful piece on the Japanese language. It took some courage for me to get around to listening it. Loved it. Made me cry and laugh.

    Keep posting wonderful stories.

    Peace,
    t

  7. defnesmom

    Hi Patrick,

    I listen to your podcasts when I go out running. They do not necessarily have the running beat but they are definitely very interesting. Every morning at seven am Borat greets me with “Iyi aksamlar!” or “Good Evening!” Maybe one day you’ll do a story about Turkish.

    Ebru

  8. Hi Patrick

    Just stumbled across The World in Words and now working my way through the back catalogue. Fantastic listening for language lovers! I’ve been on the look out for such a program for some time, thanks for hitting the nail on its head. I’m worried that after your latest monthly round up am I may have have to start rationing my swear words…

    Keep up the good work, I’m spreading the gospel!

    David

    PS a twitter badge on your blog would help people follow you more easily and it took a little wading to find your blog. It seems Patrick Cox is also the name a famous fashion designer (meta tags for your wordpress blog could help)

  9. Magnus Mårtensson

    Hi Patrick

    Thanks for a fantastic podcast, it’s one of my favourites, and one I listen to often while I work.

    I just wanted to point out something from your last podcast about swedish. You mentioned that swedish is the official language of Sweden. An interesting fact here is that it is actually not. As far as I know, it is only officially seen as the “head language” (“huvudspråk”) and not the official one (“officiellt språk”). As late as 2005, the parliament of Sweden voted against accepting swedish as an official majority language.

    As far as I know, swedish is only an official language in Finland and the European Union.

    Anyway, not a very important distinction, but I find it funny none the less..

    On skånska as a minority language, I work in Norway (I’m originally from Sweden), and when we discuss languages, I usually say that I think of Swedish and Norwegian as two dialects of the same scandinavian language. I guess Danish would be another dialect as well, which would make the question moot. As much as I love skånska, it is not a seperate language..

    Thanks again for an excellent podcast, loved hearing the swedish chef sing. I look forward to hearing more!

    Magnus Mårtensson
    Stavanger
    Norway

  10. Jason

    Hi Patrick

    I’ve heard you mentioned a couple of times your interest in Welsh, well you might like to know that Cerys Mathews ( ex – Catatonia now BBC Radio 6 d.j.) has released her new album ‘Don’t Look Down/Paid Edrych i Lawr w ‘in both English and Welsh.

    Perhaps you could interview her about this as her recent interviews have passed quickly over this fact?

    Also, Radio 4 has just aired a programme on Yiddish – any chance putting a link to this on the The World site for others to enjoy?

    Cheers,

    Jason

  11. Esther G.

    Hi Patrick! My husband and I travel alot and we love listening to your podcasts in the car.

    We recently listened to one where you interviewed someone who had written a book all about cursing. If I remember correctly, he claimed that there are curse words in every language.

    Interestingly, I recently came across a quote which stated that in the Apache language there are no curse words. I wondered if there might be a way of following up on that to confirm or deny the claim?

    Here is the quote:

    “One morning I was awakened by the sound of Grandfather’s voice. He sat in the opening of our brush arbor, facing the rising sun, and singing The Morning Song. This is a hymn to Ussen . . . thanking Him for one of the greatest of his gifts—the love between a man and woman, which is to Apaches a sacred thing. Never do they make obscene jokes about sex, and the fact that White Eyes [white men] consider conception and birth a matter of levity is something they cannot understand. It is, to them, on a level with taking the name of God in vain. I am very proud of the fact that in our language there is no profanity. For the privilege in sharing the creation of new life we give thanks to the Creator of Life.”—Native Heritage, edited by Arlene Hirschfelder.

    (I believe this quote was on page 65)

    It would be interesting to know in more detail what the speaker means by saying ‘there is no profanity’; whether he means that native Apache speakers are respectful and dont resort to using sacred terms in vain, or whether the actual mode of cursing just doesn’t exist.

    I am sorry if I haven’t explained myself very well. I hope this makes sense.

    Please keep up your hard work producing such high quality and educational shows.

    E and M Goodvin

    PS Interesting topics for your show would be the following:

    the dozens of indigenous languages that exist in Mexico besides Spanish that most people have never heard of (there are apparently about 150 variants such as Nahuatl, Miztec, Kaqchikel to name a few)

    the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (SWH) – how personality changes and adapts according to the language one is speaking. For example, you speak and act a certain way when using Spanish that you would never do when using Russian. Certain parts of your personality have to come to the fore or recede depending on the language being used.

  12. Love your content mate.

    Great podcast too. Nice to hear a well recorded and professional sounding show.

    Get an email sign-up form on your site! Easy instructions here: http://bit.ly/7DHboh

    Email me if you have any hassles.

    regards

  13. Hello,
    I’m not sure if this would be of interest to you but I was just listening to the podcast and noticed that you had a piece about an art show in China, so I thought I would just mention it to you. I am part of a group show that will open next week in Seattle and all the work is based on the Herzog book, “Of Walking In Ice”. The curator sees it as artists doing their own “translations” of the book. The book itself is amazing, a journal of a very long walk he took to visit a dying friend in Paris. Here is the website:
    http://soilart.org/currentshow/dec09.htm
    Thanks.

  14. Dear Patrick Cox,

    a little bit more than a year ago I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an heredetary eye illness which will leave me blind. I am a painter and a psychotherapist, German, but live since 32 years in Southern Mexico. I still read, but it gets harder and through this situation I have discovered the ipod and podcasta, before I hardly knew what a podcast is. Now I am addicted to your World in Words.

    Considering the fact that Spanish is growing in importance by the day, is the most spoken language in the Americas, you do not consider it too much. There is a word in Mexican Spanish and unique to Mexican Spanish that has so many different and contradictory meanings, I am fascinated by it. I have written a little piece about it and maybe it fits into one of your EATING SIDEWAYS:

    A SMALL WORD

    There exists a word in Mexican Spanish that is so unique that Nobel Laureate author Octavio Paz dedicated a whole chapter to it in his famous book The Labyrinth of Solitude. It is the verb chingar.

    Supposedly chingar is rooted in Nahuatl, the language of the ancient Aztecs. Chingar and words derived from it have a wide variety of meanings, though you won’t find it in any academic dictionary, since it is slang. Nonetheless, I am sure there is not a single Mexican who does not know it. Anyone who comes to Mexico to learn Spanish will soon stumble upon it.

    Te chingo is a threat: “I will screw you!”

    Me chingo means: “I am working hard or I am screwed.”

    Me chingaste is a complaint and a reproach: “You screwed me!” But if you say it with an admiring tone, for example after you have won a chess game, it is a compliment — “You are good!”

    Whenever an American tourist snaps in frustration and indiscretion, screaming, “Fuck you!” a Mexican might answer, “Chinga tu madre,” which counters the American with, “Fuck your mother!”

    If something is going the wrong way an English speaker might vent, “Shit!” In the same situation a Mexican screams. “Chiiiinga! “ Those wanting to be a little less rude shorten the cry to, “Chiiiin!”

    In Mexico, if you have become completely fed up with someone, instead of verbally sending him to hell, there is the alternative a la chingada, “Get the hell out” or “Enough”. (I think it means closer to “go to hell” – there is no mother involved here, Kiki)

    Eres un chingón does not mean, however, “You are a scoundrel,” but more means accurately, “You are the hottest!” If someone is an extreme hot shot, he becomes un chingonazo. A great woman is a chingona. If she is greater still, she becomes una chingonaza.

    Nobody wants to be chingared, but everybody strives to be recognized as un chingonazo or una chingonaza!

    Something or someone that works out very well is una chingonería — a very great thing or a person who is fantastic at what they do.

    I have absorbed this word so deeply into my being that in many situations I cannot find an equally effective English or German word. Many times one of my friends in Germany or in the States will give me a very puzzled look when I interrupt my German or English conversation with a chinga or chingón.

    Many greetings and keep up the good work!

    Kiki Suarez

    http://www.kikitheartist.com

  15. I understand that “la chingada” is “the mother”. Or am I wrong??? But whatever “Get the hell out” or “Go to hell” we feel quite the same thing when we say either one of those, or???

    Happy New Year!

    KIKI

    kikiobe@hotmail.com

  16. John Arrington

    Patrick Cox, you da man. I love your podcast. Thanks for being interesting, funny, and education all incredibly at the same time.

  17. Cynthia

    Hello!
    I am a new Canadian listener to The World in Words, having downloaded some shows after receiving an mp3 player recently. How incredibly interesting listening all about the aspects of different languages and different ways of communicating! I just wanted you to know the show comforts my middle of the night insommnia greatly! I listen to at least 3 shows a night….now I worry about what happens when I run out of back shows to listen to!

  18. Larry

    Hello Patrick,

    I’ve only recently discovered your show through podcasts and absolutely love it.

    I was wondering if you can do a 2.o of your animal last names, this time focusing on plants (e.g., Root, Branchflower, etc.)

    Also, do you have an update on Esperanto? Do people tweet in Esperanto? Reflecting on your Icelandic piece, does Esperanto have an equivalent to collaterized debt obligations (if that was the term)?

    Also, can you do a piece on language and media training? Top PR firms train people on the proper use of language to move conversation in a certain direction. Recently, as a result of listening to podcasts, I’ve noticed that people who’ve gone through media training all use the word “look” to draw attention to their point. I find it odd that people use a word that provides a visual reference point as an oral focal point. Are we so connected to a visual world that we need to use words referencing sight to conduct an oral discussion? I mentally substituted “listen” and it just doesn’t work as well as look.

    Keep up the good work.

  19. Thomas

    hi Patrick, longtime listener (and occasional contributor to The World), big fan of the World in Words, and first time writer… really liked your segment on Righting the Mother Tongue, and Clark’s recent story from Brussels.

    I just found this
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/06/foreign_letters&fsrc=nwl

    on one of the Economist’s blogs… on language, and using accents and umlauts and other diacritics (a new word for me), and thought you could do something on this on the pod.

    Keep up the fab producing… TWIW is one of two podcasts I listen to every week, no matter what.

    Best, Thomas

  20. Hi Patrick,

    What a great podcast you make. I usually listen to it while doing the dishes (which I suppose would be considered an obsolete craft in the US), and boy, do I enjoy doing the dishes nowadays.
    In a recent show, Carol and you gave some fleeting thought to where and when and how human language originated. As you may know (but didn’t let on), there is actually a huge body of literature on that very issue, with wildly varying theories. ‘Snorts and grunts’, as Carol suggested, do have a part in them, but in others, signing plays a crucial role – and that’s only takes on the question. Might be a good topic for a future show.
    Then there was this long and interesting interview with David Wolman on spelling. I have to mildly take issue with one of his statements, namely that the inconsistent English spelling is partly a consequence of there not being an English Academy. Quite a few, and probably most, European languages have never had any such academy, including German and my own Dutch. Nonetheless, the standardised spellings that these languages have developed, thanks mainly to authoritative dictionaries (e.g. Duden for German and Van Dale for Dutch), are much more consistent and less riddled with exceptions to be learned by heart, than in the English case.

    Anyway, keep up the great, interesting and entertaining work on English, Yiddish, Québecois, Tagalog, Quechua, Lingala, Afrikaans and whatever else there is. Please go on discovering and covering them for us!

    Best, Gaston

  21. Michael

    Hey Patrick, really love the show. I found a great eating-sideways for you in Tagalog: “kaututang dila” or “farting tongue”. A gossip. I must use that one.

    Also, please try to work something in one day on Anthony Burgess conlang for Quest For Fire…it’s a great story.

  22. Nadia

    Hi Patrick,

    What a happy accident stumbling on to The World in Words was. After the first one I listened to I realised I had to go back to the first one and work my way through. I’ve moved around from country to country my whole life and it’s really nice to find a radio show I feel at home with!

    I’ve just listened to a piece you did about kanji and found this: http://hanzismatter.blogspot.com – hilarious translations of incorrect kanji tattoos.

    Thanks for all the words,

    Nadia

  23. Chris Fleming

    RE your Podcasts on words, thank you for your work, in a small exchange, I have written a thank you .

    Where the hours

    Where the hours
    Moving
    Hobbled Stilt walker
    Standing Amputee
    To Light
    As if morning
    Moving in the direction of yesterday
    As if Morning differs from evening
    A stone pulling the ripples back
    Where the hours
    Round the pines
    Rooted unmovable
    Moving when blown
    Where the hours
    The up side down and backwards
    Ordered words
    Coaxing of words
    Misspelled and out of order
    Have put in robes
    And debt to robes
    And order despite
    Where the hours
    Coarse becoming my hand

    Coaxing materials
    In to being
    Where the hours
    Taking texts
    Not understood
    Words upon words
    Stumbled on and through
    Oh the hours
    Taking in Phaedrus
    Taste and smell
    Not Comprehension
    As the hours would later tell
    Oh the trusting hours
    With lovers at their knee
    Calluses catching silk
    The proved up hand
    Lyric touch of prose
    Though hope may wish so
    Words did not get me here
    But attentive hands
    Taught empathy
    With the bleeding and the hardening
    Of hours steadied with labor

    CjF Athens GA September 2010

  24. Maybe it is time to stop so many words and turn to haiku???

    Kiki

  25. Lezak Shallat

    Turns out the that story on Speaking in Tongues was about learning two languages, not about speaking in tongues. I wonder if you have ever done a story on the language(s) that people speak when they go into a religious fervor and speak in tongues? That would be an interesting story!
    Your truly, a longtime listener and fan.
    Lezak Shallat

  26. Mai Huynh

    i have listened to the pod cast on october 14 riding the rails-all night long. I found that it is very useful for me because i know more about standard of security and safety i should aware of and actually get a very good advice of travel insurance. As a traveler, i think we should aware of terrorism and attacks because our safety is priorty. However, we should not be so panic and ruin our trip. It is a trip, so enjoy. The train trip is very interesting. I really like the travel couple story of speaker Clark Boyd and the guests Tom and David .

    Mai Huynh
    CST 229-02
    Professor Philip C. Tirpak

  27. Ted Jerome

    Why is it that we say “one gallon of fuel” but we also say “1.0 gallons of fuel”? It’s the same single gallon!

    Ted

  28. Adin

    Dear Patrick,

    I’m stirred to zap off a quick email thanking you for outright thrill that you’re podcasts lavish on me and other language lovers.

    I notably relished listening to the show on Esperanto and look forward to more on “la internacia lingvo”.

    I hope this message stirs you to keep up your engaging work.

    Adin – San Francisco

  29. Hi Patrick..

    I love your podcast. (this is neither a cliché, nor an overstatement).

    As I have serially blundered my way into unknown linguistic territories (first into France, and now into Germany) , I am very much tickled by the humor in your show.

  30. Adin E

    Hi, Patrick!

    Here’s a suggestion for a program segment.

    Are there any *credible* moves to make English spelling more rational, i.e. writing words (more or less) the way we pronounce them?

    Someone told me that Bernard Shaw once had a great idea on this, but I’ve never heard of it.

    Just a suggestion.

    I thoroughly enjoy the podcast.

    Cheers,
    Adin – San Francisco

  31. Me

    mike myers is a canadian.

    • patricox

      Yes, we discussed that ahead of time. The point is that the Austin Powers movies are loved by both Brits and Americans.

  32. Hi Patrick,

    Do you have any submission guidelines available for your show? Perhaps an email address for proposals?

    Thanks

    Mitch Sipus

  33. ver

    hi i have been listening forever, and especially enjoy caroles wit. Oh yes that woman can think on her feet, and without losing her breath.

  34. Ron

    Hi Patrick
    What’s your thoughts on the news that a Canadian couple (note that I specified their nationality not their language preference) received $8,000 compensation from Air Canada for being spoken to in English rather than French. I understood that Canada was bilingual – so how come it is wrong to address someone in English ? I’m guessing that the court case was heard in French !

    • patricox

      Ron, my understanding of that story is that the couple (a French language activist and his wife) were awarded the compensation because Air Canada failed to provide them service in French. They say that staff on the ground and in the air spoke to them in English. An announcement about a change in the baggage carousel number was also allegedly only made in English.

      The article below lays out how this case has divided Canadians. There’s a telling quote from Jack Jedwab, of the Association for Canadian Studies: “In theory, Canadians support bilingualism. But in practice when it comes to how this takes effect and putting people in situations like this one with Air Canada, that’s where I think there’s a bit more uncertainty, some ambiguity.”

      http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/15/que-rest-of-canada-split-over-air-canada-bilingualism-ruling

  35. Lana

    I read with interest the post about English discomfort with what was described as Americanisms. Not realizing the word burglarize was one of the words disliked, I did a little Google search

    I was surprised at the controversy uncovered. What is your view?

    Lana Danaher

  36. Ray

    Hi Patrick, I just found out about your podcast and I love it! I’ve been listening to some of the older ones and I don’t think you’ve done anything on English as spoken in Malaysia and Singapore yet. I think it will provide very interesting material for your podcast.

    I also highly recommend you explore the languages in this part of the world – there’s definitely enough material here for more than 1 podcast! Pronouns are one place to start, there are just so many in Malay, so much so that even native Malay speakers in urban areas just switch to the English “you” and “I” among friends to keep things simple!

  37. Darn! I wanted to read about your uninteresting background, but apparently it is *so* uninteresting, that the link has broken, at least, clicking only took me to an error page.

    Please repair this link, so that I can see just how uninteresting your background truly is!

  38. Mary Barghout

    Patrick,
    Just wanted to say how glad I am to have found out that there’s a podcast dedicated to Language and all its greatness and variety. I was originally only a fan of The World’s daily news program but then listened to one of your podcasts and loved it!

    have you ever considered doing a show about children who have parents who speak different languages (as in, different from eachother, like mine Arabic and English) and whether a preference placed on one affects aquisition of the other?

    also, I liked the piece on the “Egyptian John Stewart” though, you used the word “new” when mentioning the art of satire in egypt. didnt they invent satire?! with all their horrid leaders, combined with a great sense of humor I was convinced they had… 😉

    ~Mary Barghout

    • patricox

      Thanks, Mary!

      I’ve done a few podcasts that touch on the subject of children with parents who speak different languages from one another. It’s a good idea to focus an entire podcast on that. I’ll add it to the list.

      I have no idea who invented satire (and whether, for that matter, we can pin it down to a particular people or race). If it’s the Egyptians, thank you Egyptians! I can’t recall the context of my use of the word “new” but I’m guessing that I meant post-Mubarak new, as opposed to brand new.

  39. Jason

    Hi Patrick

    Just a note to say that I enjoy listening to The World in Words. I have a long commute behind the wheel each day in the congested Toronto area and quality podcasts and audiobooks are indispensible, especially in slow traffic. I especially enjoyed the interview with Frank Zappa’s lyric “recorder”.

    I also look forward to each “Eating Sideways” segment.

    Thanks for putting out this important and entertaining podcast.

    Excelsior!

    Jason

  40. Inna Leykin

    Dear Patrick,

    I’ve been following your podcast for two years now and very much enjoy listening to it. It proved to be a nice companion during some long commutes in New England, during my research year in Russia, and during home visits in Israel. I am a cultural anthropologist and I really appreciate an immense respect that you show to different cultures and societies. I just have a brief comment about the latest podcast. Your guest (whom, by the way, I sometime find ignorant of other cultures, but that is a completely different story) mentioned that she used to listen to the soviet radio when she was growing up and that the radio reporters had an American rather than a British accent. It was a very nice observation and she was absolutely right to say that Russian learn British English in school. I think I might know the answer. A legendary Soviet English speaking radio reporter, Vladimir Posner, grew up in Manhattan (west village, i think) but at the wake of the anti-communist witch-hunt in the U.S., his father, who held open pro-soviet views left New York and moved to the Soviet sector in Berlin. From there, Vladimir Posner moved to Moscow and in the early 1970s he began working as a commentator for an English speaking radio program. He then moved to be a TV commentator. You might remember him from a series of televised discussions between Soviet and American audiences in the mid 1980s, the most famous one being a TV bridge between women of Moscow and Boston with Phil Donahue, where a Soviet woman announced globally that there is no sex in the Soviet Union. In any case, this might explain why a Soviet radio commentator spoke with an American and not British accent.

    Thanks so much for your great podcast!
    Cheers,
    Inna

  41. Hi Patrick, I love your podcast. As much as I love listening to it and reading your corresponding blog, I would also love to contribute material to it. I have a lot of interesting ideas.
    How do I send my work to you?
    Thanks.

  42. Dayla Rogers

    Hi Patrick,
    I want say that I really love the show, and would like to offer a suggestion for an “Eating Sideways” piece. I live in Istanbul and the Turkish have a saying that I can’t translate right into English. It’s “gözün aydın olsun.” It means “may your eyes be bright”, literally and you say it to someone who has been waiting for someone to arrive from out of town. In fact, you say it around the time that the person that they have been waiting for arrives. The reason for this is that people living in Anatolian villages used to look out into the distance to try to see their loved ones coming home from journeys. The belief is that these forlorn gazes would strain their eyes, but when the person returned they would be bright and happy again.

    Thanks and will be listening,

    Dayla

  43. Jim Dempsey

    Dear Mr. Cox,

    I write this as a critique not of your show but of the format someone has imposed upon it, one that will, if not corrected, force me to drop the podcast entirely. I’m very sorry, but the number of commercial ad spots on podcasts—especially those NPR features—has become a blight that I can no longer tolerate and must remove from my life.

    Over the last few years, I have found myself increasingly sensitive to advertising. This brought me to NPR content originally. As NPR has more and more embraced their sponsored mode (and, I would say, abandoned the overarching purpose of non-commercial public service they were chartered to uphold), their content to me is tainted and distasteful. Not so much as outright commercial content, but I can’t tolerate that at all.

    I am writing you, though, not to condemn but to beg. I see a way out of this money trap NPR must feel around it’s financial leg. I know why the World in Words advertises. What if that money could be brought in another way? To the point, what if I could give you money in exchange for an ad-free program?

    This American Life was very candid about their costs; Mr. Glass noted that it cost the show $.51 per listener to deliver a year’s worth of content. This means that, after considering the cost of executing the transaction, a payment of just a few dollars a year should both cover the overhead costs and provide your host station with needed revenue. And the infrastructure already exists to facilitate this.

    ITunes has a service where one can buy single songs for a buck; that same service allows shows like yours to be downloaded to my poddy device without much effort at all. What if they offered a service that combined the two functions, allowing me the listener to pay, say, two or three bucks once a year for the added market value of hearing your voices declare themselves a free podcast well and truly? The only thing you would have to do differently: add an ad-free show to your storage (perhaps with extras!), and collect the money from Apple.

    We, those unsung many who find themselves cursed with advertising allergies, simply need you and podcasters like you to pressure Apple to give you the service you need to make it happen. Or another company; I’m not choosy. Right now, podcasts are either free or available by single-purchase download. Please, good sir, suggest they offer subscribers the option of paying for a year in advance. Your input as content producers responsible for uncounted thousands visiting the iTunes Store carries far more weight than mine, a humble single listener.

    Please, if you think this idea has merit, talk about it on the show. See who pipes up. Do note that the subscription would be for a small amount each year, enough to cover costs. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the response, just as I think you might be shocked at how much those . . . commercial interruptions are hated by podcast listeners. That hatred goes straight to you, and that’s unfair, I know . . . but inevitable.

    Thank you for both your time and your show. I only hope I can stomach the interruptions coming between me and your show long enough to see a world where I can give you the money you need. If not . . . well, it was a good show while I could take it.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Dempsey
    Seattle, WA

  44. Great blog, I’ll be listening to the NPR snippets too.

    One suggestion, update the WordPress description of the site. It looks like the site isn’t finished yet. Still, the effort and content is greatly appreciated.

  45. joe lurie

    Great food and language blog the other day. If you have not seen it, check out in google search: Bicycling in the Yogurt:the French Food Fixation and The Squid has Been Fried: Language, Culture and the Chinese Food Fixation by Joe Lurie

  46. Sebastian Knauer

    Hi Patrick,

    As a German who has lived in Pennsylvania for a few years, I have always been fascinated with the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. I was excited to experience that it is not only vibrant among the plain (Amish, conservative Mennonite) communities, but that there are still remnants among the “worldy Dutch” population, as well. I found these by visting plays, church services and presentations at local festivals and cultural institutions. There are even some efforts to preserve the language among a small group of younger non-Amish PA dutch speakers, one of whom has an interesting blog: http://deitscheblog.wordpress.com. I also have an e-mail correspondence with an elderly man from Berks County who writes me in PA Dutch.

    I would be happy to share some examples of this correspondence and my other experiences with you, and would be thrilled if you would consider a program about the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect in the near future.

    Best regards
    Sebastian

  47. melissajames

    I’m a new podcast listener and I’ve spent an hour on your blog today. I was wondering if you’ve ever done any writing or podcasts about how English becomes part of other languages in ways that Western English speakers aren’t aware of? As an American living abroad in Seoul, South Korea, I have found myself learning two languages: Korean and the English that has been adapted for Korean life. When I first arrived in Korea, everything was written in Korean and I thought everything I heard was spoken in Korean. But after I learned how to read the Korean language, I realized that a good percent of the words around me were actually English words written in Korean. And some of the words I was hearing were actually english words spoken with a distinct (almost indecipherable) Korean dialect. After living there for a year, I found myself speaking English with a Korean dialect in order to be understood and I also found myself reading and writing English words in the Korean alphabet.Going through this process has humbled me and taught me a lot about my own misguided assumptions. I now see that English is not just my language, it belongs to everyone who interacts with it and adapts it to his/her life. I now realize that I am not the keeper of official, “proper English”. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  48. Tara Ryan

    Hi Patrick
    I just love your podcasts – a real gift.
    Go raibh míle maith agat.
    Tara

  49. Rick Mahoney

    Dear Mr. Cox,
    I just came across The World in Words for the first time. You seem very knowledgeable about linguistic events here in Montreal/Quebec. As someone born and raised in neighbouring Ontario but having lived on the island of Montreal for the last 11 years, I’m curious to know what you think of the status of French in Quebec (in a nutshell). Personally, I think after 250 years of coexistence, French is here to stay in La Belle Province, and by extension, Canada.

  50. Cool stuff! I’ve added you to follow.

  51. Hello! I really enjoy reading your blog, so I’ve nominted you for a Versatile Blogger Award.

    Yay!

    If you choose to accept, here’s what you need to do:

    1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
    2. Announce your win with a post. Make sure to post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
    3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
    4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
    5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

    Cheers!
    Rebecca.

      • Dear Mr. Cox, Given all news and discussion about guns in the United States, you might be interested in my blog: Language Under the Gun which can be found at r-3.com/languageunderthegunJLurie.pdf.
        And if the influence of cultural preoccupations on language in France might be of interest, you might do a google search for Bicycling in the Yogurt:the French Food fixation, a Culturaldetective blog by Joe Lurie. Your Nrew Orleans piece prompted the thought! Joe Lurie

  52. TES India

    Hello Patricox!

    I very much enjoy your blog and Am very keen to discuss things furtehr with you. How is best to contact you.

    Sincerely,

    Ben

  53. Scott Altfeld

    My name is Scott.
    For the first 3 weeks of college, my Mexico City classmates called me escroto (scrotum), scott tissue or just pinche gringo ( damn Yankee).
    I quickly changed my name to Paco, which has been my “Mexican name” for the last 40 years. Very few people there know me as Scott.
    My Mexico City born daughter wanted to know to know why she didn’t have 2 names. (We gave her a name that works well in both languages !)
    I encourage everyone to strip away as much old home culture as possible, and make room for the new.

  54. Hi Patrick,

    do you allow any guest posts here? I too am a big fan of language.

  55. Hey Patrick,
    I accidentally stumbled upon your blog & I’m glad I did. I’ve always been fascinated with words and languages in general, which has now led me to working at a translation company: oneskyapp.com (if you’re interested!)
    I look forward to more of your great stuff!
    🙂

  56. Delighted to have happened on your blog/podcast. Looking forward to exploring. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (plugged in now)

  57. wh00h000!
    My 2nd good civilian job was “public broadcasting” up here, with CBC.
    Personally? I’d rather be RTO and drop in behind Da’esh lines … I’m a cranky sorta guy … but short of that? Ao-00h!

    p.s. earned lots of my salt doing technical documents. 5 kids .. needed lots of salt! 🙂

    cheers
    –ben aka bernard (Not Burn’ahrd, nor Burn’uhrd!)

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