The etymology of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other mealtime words.
John McWhorterA little late this week, the latest @lexiconvalley is about food words. Lunch, dinner, fruit, vegetable, and so on - I usually don't stress etymologies but the ones for these are delicious. Plus thirties music, & Fonda Rae as a palate cleanser. slate.com/podcasts/lexic… via @slate
“Self-Portrait in Black and White,” by Thomas Chatterton Williams, is the author’s searching account about what it means to embrace a racial identity — and then to cast it off.
John McWhorterBravo @thomaschattwill for this book and this review. It’s easy to think “identity” means artful variations on defining yourself against “whiteness.” This book does the real work of thinking about identity more realistically and productively.
From the IPA to phonemes and morphemes, linguists approach language methodically and scientifically.
John McWhorterI avoid making @lexiconvalley an actual Linguistics Lesson, but this show breaks with that just this once and teaches you what phonemes, morphemes, and head order are. I'm pretty sure it will be fun. Plus the Doobie Bros. and Gladys Knight! slate.com/podcasts/lexic… via @slate
The president’s linguistic life is as oral as that of a medieval artisan.
John McWhorterLiddle' is short for little??? This isn't about informality - it's a sign that Trump lives as far from the printed page as a medieval artisan. And who confuses "hyphen" for "apostrophe," even tired?
3:26 Critiquing the NYT’s series on American slavery, the 1619 Project 11:19 Why did this package come out now? 21:17 Are today’s racial disparities a “predi...
John McWhorterWherein Glenn and I battle the disabling ideology behind the 1619 business. It’s all about saying racial disparities all trace to slavery. They simply don’t, and we are not un-black to say so out loud.
In today’s world, slurs are the real profanity, not the use of an “F-bomb” to describe a mass shooting.
John McWhorterBeto saying "fucked up" isn't profane because f--- is no longer profane in any sense an anthropologist would recognize. It's just salty -- and honest, and sometimes le mot juste. Slurs are our modern profanity, not sex and body words.
Each word’s background contains a linguistic lesson.
John McWhorterDARN's etymology is really neat. The whole story is only on this @lexiconvalley. Also, some *real* curse words other than the one I did a show on before. Teaser: someone has suggested a gender-neutral pronoun combining she, he and it into ... slate.com/podcasts/lexic… via @slate
It’s long been accepted that the slur shouldn’t be used by white people to refer to black people. What about referring to the word itself?
John McWhorterAsk a class why the doc is called I Am Not Your Negro when Baldwin said n——-, uttering the word instead of “N-Word,” and the New School mulls over firing you. Nonblacks can’t even peep it to REFER to it? 25 years ago they could. Justice or mission creep?
John McWhorterRACIST’s evolution as a word has been psychologically and sociologically layered and sophisticated - ie challenging. Hence how easy it is for, well, racists to duck the charge, and for others to sometimes overapply it.
School integration yielded a disturbing by-product: a psychological association between scholastic achievement and whiteness.
John McWhorterBusing was important but white teachers and students against it sparked a lot of black teens to think of school as “white” - let’s not forget that all-black schools aren’t always such a bad thing.