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1. I Cry ~ Flo Rida (Original Mix) 2. Don’t You Worry Child ~ Swedish House Mafia & John Martin (Extended Mix) 3. Mad World ~ Belmond & Parker (Club Mix) 4. Call Me ~ JL & Afterman (Original Mix) 5. Sweet Nothing ~ Calvin Harris f. Florence Welch (eSQUIRE v. OFFBeat Rmx) 6. Pound The Alarm ~ Nicki Minaj (Liam Keegan Rmx) 7. Reason ~ Hook N Sling v. NERVO (Original Mix) 8. So Young So High ~ Dada Life (Extended Mix) 9. Die Young ~ Ke$ha (The Sleeze Rmx) 10. Top Of The World ~ Manufactured Sup ...
 
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show series
 
We use verbal numbers and we use numerals - why do we need both? Why do we have the ones we have? What happened to Roman numerals? And what's loserish about the fiftieth Super Bowl? Stephen Chrisomalis, professor of anthropology and linguistics and author of the book Reckonings: Numerals, Cognition and History, returns to the Allusionist to explain…
 
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, read all the salads from the 1950 recipe book 282 Ways of Making a Salad, with Favourite Recipes by British and American Personalities and Stars by Bebe Daniels and Jill Algood, with the purpose of giving your internal monologue a break by replacing it with some absolutely inconsequential w…
 
They're not ladies and they're not birds; they're not even technically bugs! But that's not the most surprising thing about ladybirds/ladybugs and their brilliant variety of names. Tamsin Majerus AKA Dr Ladybird explains why ladybirds are so great; and Johanna Mayer and Elah Feder of the podcast Science Diction, about words and the science stories …
 
It’s August 2007. Lauren Marks is a 27-year-old actor and a PhD student, spending the month directing a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s in a bar, standing onstage, performing a karaoke duet of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’…and then a blood vessel in her brain bursts. When she wakes up in hospital, days later, she has no internal monolog…
 
What to do to stick it to the powers that be? Send your message through something they really care about: cake. In Buenos Aires, local tour guides Madi Lang and Juan Palacios introduce me to priest's balls and little cannons, the pastries laced with the sweet taste of 1880s trade union protests. There are a few swears and saucy references in this e…
 
"Sometimes I've heard people talk about losing a child and people say it's like losing a limb. And as someone who's lost both things, I just want to say, the realities are very different." Musician and writer Christa Couture has experienced way too much of people trying to convey sympathy and instead expressing their discomfort about disability and…
 
To round off the year, here are some choice cuts from the Allusionist vault of interesting things that guests said that there wasn’t room for in the original episodes. Brace yourself for a vivid name for dust bunnies, the scary side of glamour, another reason to be grateful for bears, and Schrödinger’s Fart. There’s more about this episode at theal…
 
The usual canon of Christmas songs may not really fit people's moods in this year 2020, when I'm not sure a lot of us are feeling all that holly jolly. So I drafted in singer and songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs and we wrote a festive song that is suitable for 2020. Content note: there are swears. Several of them. Jenny Owen Youngs makes music - find i…
 
In Australia, there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of languages. Until English arrived. Rudi Bremer and Karina Lester talk about the destruction and revival of indigenous Australian languages. Content note: this episode refers to violence and genocide. Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/custodians, and l…
 
Fill your lungs and get ready to shout out some profane answers: it’s the Swearlusionist Swearalong Quiz! Every answer is a swear word. Swearing, as we know, is good for your health, plus helps vent stress, and you’ll learn many etymological facts along the way, so this is a very wholesome and educational quiz. CONTENT NOTE: this episode contains s…
 
The word for ‘ghostwriter’ in French is a racist slur. How did THAT come about? And what word could French-speakers use instead? Ngofeen Mputubwele and Gregory Warner investigate. This piece originally aired on NPR’s Rough Translation; hear their new season at npr.org and on your pod app. Content note: the piece is about, and therefore contains, of…
 
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, quell anxiety and calm brain frenzies by replacing your interior monologue with words detached from significance. In this case: the list of HGTV original programming, and lawnmower adverts from before I was born. Find this episode and a transcript and some pics of lawnmower ads at theallusi…
 
It’s great when you coin a phrase that really resonates with people, right? Until they start using it for businesses and ventures that are at odds with the meaning of it… Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, hosts of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend and authors of the new book Big Friendship, talk about what their term Shine Theory really means and what …
 
The Yiddish word for ‘black’ is, in certain uses, a slur. So Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, Arun Viswanath and Jonah Boyarin teamed up to translate Black Lives Matter without it. Find out more about this episode, the subject matter and the interviewees, at theallusionist.org/yiddishblm. Content note: since the episode is discussing a slur, it does…
 
When the Europeans arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as guns, stoats and Christianity, they brought ideas of cisgender monogamous heterosexuality that were imposed upon the Māori people as if there had never been anything else. But one word, takatāpui, proved otherwise. Lecturer Hemi Kelly and activist Elizabeth Kerekere excavate the linguis…
 
The Scots language didn’t have much of an LGBTQ+ lexicon. So writer and performer Dr Harry Josephine Giles decided to create one. Find out more about this episode, the subject matter and the interviewees, at theallusionist.org/manywaysatonce. Previous Allusionist episodes that go alongside this episode include Oot in the Open, Queer and Two Or More…
 
The word ‘pornography’ arrived in English in the 1840s so upper class male archaeologists could talk about the sexual art they found in Pompeii without anyone who wasn’t an upper class male archaeologist knowing about it. Even though, at the same time, Victorian England was awash with what we’d now term pornography. Dr Kate Lister of Whores of Yore…
 
Twenty years ago, a 1939 poster printed by the British government with the words ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ turned up in a second-hand bookshop in Northern England. And lo! A decor trend was born: teatowels, T-shirts, mugs, phone cases, condoms, and a zillion riffs on the phrase. Bookshop owner Stuart Manley talks about unearthing the poster that spa…
 
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, in the interests of temporarily trying to stop that feeling where you think your brain is trying to claw its way out of your skull, read the punchlines to classic jokes. This episode, including a transcript, resides at theallusionist.org/punchlines; see if you can figure out all the jokes t…
 
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, for the purposes of calming a frazzled brain, read the winners of Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This episode resides at theallusionist.org/best-in-show; you can find all the Allusionist episodes, including other Tranquillusionists, at theallusionist.org. The original…
 
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, for the purposes of quelling anxiety and stress and sleeplessness, read the lyrics to ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, with the words arranged in reverse alphabetical order. This episode resides at theallusionist.org/nmiigea; you can find all the Allusionist episodes, including other Tranquillusio…
 
We interrupt the Allusionist break to bring an emergency calming episode. I asked you listeners which words you find soothing. Here they are. Put this episode on a loop to help you sleep; play it to quell your inner monologue; use it as an unreasonably long text tone; whatever you want. View a list of the words at theallusionist.org/tranquillusioni…
 
As the climate changes, so does the vocabulary around it - to amplify concern, to dampen concern, to serve corporate concerns… It is linguistically fraught! Journalist Amy Westervelt of the podcast Drilled, Alice Bell from the climate charity Possible, and Robin Webster from Climate Outreach explain some of the shifts in terminology, the squabbles …
 
Here’s a special episode about the word that brought us all together… aaand a lot of you hate it. This piece was recorded in front of a live audience at PodCon in Seattle. Get your regular dose of the Allusionist at theallusionist.org. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Words engraved into metal are intended to last, though you don’t know who in the future is going to be reading them - your grandchildren wearing your wedding ring, the stranger who found your long-lost multitool, yourself at a time of need. Steven Yardley of Milne & Yardley talks about the disappearing craft of hand engraving. Max Ullmann of the an…
 
When Dave Nadelberg of Mortified used to visit his mother’s grave, he would look around at the nearby gravestones and see similar - or even the exact same - epitaphs for lots of different people. And it made him curious: who were these people, really? What were their personalities, what happened in their lives? And didn’t they deserve something mor…
 
When is cheese not cheese, or crab not crab? When it’s spelled cheez or krab or even ch’eese or cra’b… Novelty spellings for foods-that-aren’t-made-out-of-the-thing-they-sound-like-they’re-made-out-of go back a pretty long way - ‘cheez’ was THE cheese-like substance of the 1920s - but right now, with plant-based foods on the rise, we’re seeing more…
 
It’s Food Season at the Allusionist. Last episode we learned all about compiling recipes, turning food into words. This time, we meet someone who turns words into food - no, she doesn’t make Alphabetti Spaghetti. When Kate Young of the Little Library Cafe spots a foodstuff or a feast in a novel, she finds ways to cook it in reality, whether it’s de…
 
When recipe writing is done well, the skill and effort involved might not be evident. But explaining the different steps clearly so that people of varying culinary abilities and equipment can cook it, and indeed want to make it, and translating flavour and physical actions and sensory experiences into words - all that takes work. Recipe writers MiM…
 
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