72: What If Linguistics - Absurd hypothetical questions with Randall Munroe of xkcd

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Manage episode 341311274 series 1325543
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What’s the “it’s” in “it’s three pm and hot”? How do you write a cough in the International Phonetic Alphabet? Who is the person most likely to speak similarly to a randomly-selected North American English speaker? In this episode, your hosts Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne get enthusiastic about absurd hypothetical linguistic questions with special guest Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. We only wish that there was a little more linguistics in the book. So Randall came on to fill the gap with all his most ridiculous linguistics questions! One of our unresolved questions that we can merely speculate about is our predictions for what the future of English might be like. Are you listening to this episode from more than two decades in the future? Please write in from 2042 or later and let us know how accurate we’ve been! Read the transcript here: Announcements: We’ve teamed up with linguist/artist Lucy Maddox to create a fun, minimalist version of the classic International Phonetic Alphabet chart, which you can see here (plus more info about how we put together the design). It looks really cool, and it’s also a practical reference tool that you can carry around with you in a convenient multi-purpose format: lens cloths! We’re going to place ONE (1) massive order for aesthetic IPA chart lens cloths on October 6, 2022. If you want one, be a patron at the Lingthusiast tier or higher on October 5th, 2022, timezone: anywhere in the world. If you’re already a patron at that tier, then you’re set! (That’s the tier where you also get bonus episodes and the Discord access, we’ve never run a special offer at this tier before but we think this time it’ll be worth it!). www.patreon.com/lingthusiasm In this month’s bonus episode we chat with Lucy about redesigning the IPA! We talk about how Lucy got interested in linguistics, how she got into art, how we started working with her, and the many design considerations that went into making a redesigned IPA chart. Join us on Patreon now to get access to this and 60+ other bonus episodes, access to the Lingthusiasm Discord server where you can chat with other language nerds, as well your exclusive IPA chart lens cloth! www.patreon.com/lingthusiasm Click here for the full show notes, which includes links to things mentioned in this episode:

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