language

The Colin McEnroe Show
2:56 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Sumptuous Silence Transcription

Marie Coppola is an assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at the University of Connecticut where she directs the Language Creation Lab. She’s also the founder and Executive Director of Manos Unidas
Chion Wolf

Imagine having no capacity for language acquisition. Imagine developing a language with grammars that are completely independent from the spoken language of the surrounding hearing culture. Imagine being unable to engage in any of the thought processes I'm using right now.  Choosing words and bundles of words to convey meaning, pausing to ponder the interesting similarities between deafness and deficit. Grabbing for a phrase like language acquisition and appreciating the neat little package it represents. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:55 am
Thu June 12, 2014

The Lure of Letters

Credit Tammy Strobel / Wikimedia Commons

Tab Hunter and Joyce DeWitt, Elizabeth Taylor and James Earl Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Jeff Daniels, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones from "The Daily Show," Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern: I could go on and on. These are all couples who have acted together in A.R. Gurney's play, "Love Letters."

The play is amazingly elastic. Do you want to see Larry Hagman and Linda Gray together one more time post-Dallas? Well, they did "Love Letters." 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

The Art and Power of Poetry

Poet and author Maya Angelou.
Credit York College ISLGP / Creative Commons

When the great poet Maya Angelou died last Wednesday, we learned about it during a conversation about the death penalty. Maybe you learned about it while reading about deadly violence in Ukraine, or the search for the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. 

Her death was sad news, to be sure. We don’t think we're the only ones who felt forced to step back from the news and consider the beauty and power of words.

This hour, in memory of Maya Angelou’s spirit, we welcome a group of Connecticut poets into our studio to read their work and try to measure the art and power of poetry.

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Remembrance
9:43 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

Angelou became Hollywood's first black female movie director on Nov. 3, 1971. She also wrote the script and music for Caged Bird, which was based on her best-selling 1969 autobiography. She had been a professional singer, dancer, writer, composer, poet, lecturer, editor and San Francisco streetcar conductor.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:58 pm

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Promises, Promises, Promises: Who Keeps Them?

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Promises, promises -- all politicians make them, but they don't always keep them. Just last month, Gov. Dan Malloy canceled the $55 tax rebate he’d promised residents earlier this year. 

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Verse and Voice
4:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Spirit Level

Doug Kerr Creative Commons

a terza rima for the New Britain Industrial Museum

Hard hittin' New Britain, some of my students intone
to describe their home for a few years or a lifetime
in that depressed part of Hartford County once known

by relics in unphotographable pre-European times
as a fertile hunting and fishing ground by the Tunxis,
Quinnipiac, Wangunk, Podunk and Mattabesett tribes

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Social Media
5:25 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Twitter CEO Hopes To Attract Users By Clearing The Clutter

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says the company has to bridge the gap between the brand's global awareness and user engagement.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:48 pm

Twitter is growing and its brand is spreading but Wall Street is unimpressed. On Tuesday, the company announced it had doubled its quarterly revenue from a year ago to $250 million. The social networking site also increased its number of active users to 255 million, up 25 percent from a year earlier.

But despite the gains, Wall Street analysts have called the growth tepid. Twitter went public last November, and its shares have traded as high as $74; on Wednesday, it opened at under $38.

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Code Switch
10:31 am
Sat April 26, 2014

3 Pitfalls To Avoid When Talking About Race

In a recent dissent, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that "we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society."
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 5:28 am

My first hint that a recent column on diversity in late-night TV had made an impact came when I saw a tweet from an old acquaintance.

He runs a website and blog devoted to covering television and had decided to write a post based on my audio story on late-night TV. He then sent out a Twitter message with the headline:

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Polish Literature
12:21 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Book News: Polish Poet With Mission To 'Create Poetry After Auschwitz' Dies

Polish writer Tadeusz Różewicz is pictured in 2010 in Lodz, Poland.
Grzegorz Michalowski EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 10:11 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Spotlight on the Arts
2:23 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Poems Celebrate Hartford's Collective Identity

Poet John Stanizzi, at center, with Hartford Loves Poetry participants at Hartford Public Library Albany Branch.
Ed Wierzbicki CPBN

It was evident from Saturday’s grand finale of "Hartford Loves Poetry: A Community Celebration" that the city loves the sound and soul of its many voices. It was also proof that people are thirsty for authentic human stories told aloud by their neighbors that creatively reflect ancestry and history.

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Remembrances
5:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Who Gave Voice To Latin America, Dies

Admirers ask Gabriel Garcia Marquez --€” seated alongside his wife, Mercedes Barcha €-- to sign books in Santa Marta, Colombia, in 2007.
Alejandra Vega AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:06 pm

Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1982, died Thursday. He was 87. Garcia Marquez, the master of a style known as magic realism, was and remains Latin America's best-known writer.

His novels were filled with miraculous and enchanting events and characters; love and madness; wars, politics, dreams and death. And everything he had written, Garcia Marquez once said, he knew or heard before he was 8 years old.

A Writer Shaped By His Beginnings

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A Blog Supreme
1:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

5 Points Where Poetry Meets Jazz

Jayne Cortez in 1996. The poet often recorded her poems to improvised music.
Bob Berg Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:10 pm

Poetry and song were once the same: The first poems were recited to music played on the lyre. (It's the source of the word "lyric.") Today, poems are published in books and journals, while songs are heard but seldom read. The poet Robert Pinsky tells of a successful songwriter-singer who said, "A little poetry can really help a song, but too much poetry will sink a song."

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Code Switch
1:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Poetic Take On Black Boxer Lands Punches With Broad Appeal

In the ring, Johnson was a master of defense, with a powerful knockout punch and an unprecedented talent for talking trash.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:30 am

April is National Poetry Month, and Code Switch is celebrating by writing about great poets of color and their poems that address issues of race, culture and ethnicity. We began the series with an invitation to our readers to help us build a collaborative poem.

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Cartoonists
2:36 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It

Bob Mankoff/The New Yorker Collection/Condé Nast

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:43 pm

Bob Mankoff has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker ever since 1977 and now, as cartoon editor, he evaluates more than 500 cartoons submitted to the magazine each week.

Mankoff is proud of the many cartoons that have been published under his aegis. "Sometimes I take my aegis out of my drawer just to admire it," he writes.

His most well-known cartoon shows an executive looking at his desk calendar, saying to someone on the phone: "No, Thursday's out. How about never — is never good for you?"

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Kiev or Kyiv?
9:24 am
Mon March 24, 2014

How Do You Pronounce the Capital of Ukraine?

Credit Vladimir Yaitskiy / Creative Commons

With the situation in Ukraine as bad as it is, semantics are not high on the list of priorities. But it's something that inevitably comes up for journalists when we discuss names and locations in other parts of the world.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was on WNPR's Where We Live to talk about his recent trip to Ukraine's capital of Kiev, or Kyiv (more on that later).

Murphy pronounces the name of this city as "Keev."

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Language
1:11 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:43 am

Speed-reading all rage. Suddenly many speed-reading apps. Spritz. Spreeder. Others.

Some inspired by method RSVP — rapid serial visual presentation.

"Rather than read words

from left to right,"

says Marc Slater, managing director of Spreeder parent company eReflect.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:58 am
Tue March 4, 2014

It's Grammar Day! Is My Exclamation Point Wrong?

Peter Sokolowski is Editor-at-Large at Merriam-Webster.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It's National Grammar Day, a time to take stock of the current status of the English language, and possibly get into bitter fights.

I'm old school. I'm the kind of person who will only use "not only" if I intend to follow it with "but also." That's probably a convention that died the quiet death of a feverish sloth many years ago. But I know what's right, and sometimes it feels like I'm helping to hold the language together even as it drifts into chaos.

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Host's Diary
9:12 am
Fri February 28, 2014

A Judge, Rendered Homicidal by Grammar

Credit GiantsFanatic / Creative Commons

The Colin McEnroe Show is featuring an episode on grammar next Tuesday. 

Below we have a "fatal" example of a misplaced modifier. I'm fairly certain the judge didn't do any of those horrible things. (h/t R.R. Cooper)

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Affordable Care Act
11:34 am
Mon February 24, 2014

State's Obamacare Website Now Up In Spanish

Credit Access Health CT

We recently told you about the challenge of getting a Spanish language enrollment website up and running for the state’s Obamacare agency, Access Health CT. Now, it appears that site is live. 

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Language
2:50 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

The Man Behind The Dialect Quiz

This map from the Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes shows the distribution of words used for "the thing from which you might drink water in a school." Red is water fountain (60%), green is drinking fountain (33%), blue is bubbler (3%) and yellow is other (1%).

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:53 pm

With just 11 days before the end of 2013, The New York Times posted a dialect quiz on its website that drew in millions of readers, making it the site’s most popular page for the year. The quiz is designed to pinpoint the quiz-taker’s exact region, based on the words he or she uses.

The graphics intern who created the mapping algorithm, Josh Katz, was hired for a full-time position and Bert Vaux, the linguist who created the data for the test, began to see an uptick in the activity on his website.

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Hard To Access
11:57 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Still No Obamacare Website for State's Spanish Speakers

From left, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman, Kevin Counihan, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Spanish-language website that will enroll state residents in Obamacare is still facing delays. In fact, officials say it could be another two weeks until it is operational. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Language of Mental Health; 50 Years of Anti-Smoking Efforts; Archaeology Tech at UConn

<em>Woman's Day</em> featured this Winston cigarettes ad on its back cover in 1955.
Credit R.J. Reynolds

With mental health issues at the forefront of local and national discussion, the phrase "the mentally ill" has become commonplace in media headlines. But does it really belong there -- or anywhere, for that matter? We talk with Tufts Medical Center’s Psychiatrist-in-Chief about the importance of the words we use when talking about mental illness. 

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Remembrances
5:16 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful

Amiri Baraka, shown here in 1972, was a renowned poet whose politics strongly shaped his work.
Julian C. Wilson AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:31 am

One of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures, Amiri Baraka, died on Thursday from complications after surgery following a long illness, according to his oldest son. Baraka was 79.

Baraka co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. His literary legacy is as complicated as the times he lived through, from his childhood — where he recalled not being allowed to enter a segregated library — to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. His poem about that attack, "Somebody Blew Up America," quickly became infamous.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

What Do You Mean, Coding?

Code education is being pushed by politicians, CEOs and basketball stars alike.
Credit Ben Simo / Creative Commons

Our schools teach a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, French, even Latin. But should we be focusing on the language of computer programming? Even NBA star Chris Bosh is asking everyone from young kids to the homeless to learn to code. Why aren’t we teaching it more? It seems like President Obama needs an army of coders to fix the glitchy HealthCare.gov website.

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Language Education
4:09 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

End of Bilingual Education in Windham Forces English Language Learners to Cope

Credit carlosbezz/iStock / Thinkstock

As the number of Hispanic students in Connecticut's schools continues to rise, the achievement gap between these students and their white classmates remains. Gaps can be found in every grade, in every subject, in just about every school district in the state. The highest percentage of English language learners can be found in the town of Windham. In the past year, there have been big changes there to the way Hispanic students are being taught.

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Language
9:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Picture This: Selfie Is 'Word Of The Year'

If old bloggers are doing it when they bike, then you know the word "selfie" has gone mainstream.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Oxford Dictionaries has decided that 2013's word of the year is selfie — and if you don't know what the word means, you may not be a somewhat self-absorbed type who likes to share photos you take of yourself. (Just kidding, selfie fans!)

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:02 am
Tue November 12, 2013

When Will CBS Do More Than Apologize?

Credit Planeta on Flickr Creative Commons

Once again we start the week with a show that we planned on the fly based on stories that grabbed us over the weekend. 

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Code or be Coded
1:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Bill Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg and Snoop Dogg Agree: Learn to Code

More and more sites are popping up that teach people how to code.
Ben Simo Creative Commons

It may not be enough anymore to just be tech-literate. There is a mainstream push to teach people, both kids and adults alike, to be code-literate. On an episode of Where We Live, there was a discussion with people who code, making the case for more code education.

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Where We Live
10:04 am
Mon November 4, 2013

What Do You Mean, Coding?

Code education is being pushed by politicians, CEOs and basketball stars alike.
Credit Ben Simo / Creative Commons

Our schools teach a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, French, even Latin. But should we be focusing on the language of computer programming? Even NBA star Chris Bosh is asking everyone from young kids to the homeless to learn to code. Why aren’t we teaching it more? It seems like President Obama needs an army of coders to fix the glitchy HealthCare.gov website.

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Code Switch
11:50 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It Takes A Classroom To Learn The Family Language

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:32 pm

Call it a linguistic identity crisis.

Growing up in Westchester, N.Y., 25-year-old Danielle Alvarez says, she and her two siblings didn't have much need for Spanish. With few other Hispanic families around, she got by with the few phrases she had picked up from her Mexican-born father: good night, put a coat on, be careful.

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