language

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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Where We Live
11:04 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Back to School: Common Core, Bilingual Education, and School Safety

Students across the state are heading back to school this week – and they’ll be seeing a lot of changes.  The common core state standards are taking effect and changing the way teachers teach and students take tests.

Schools are struggling to find the best way to teach ESL kids English.  New Britain school system was recently featured on PBS Newshour for changing all their bilingual classes to English only. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
4:30 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Faith Middleton Show: Authors of What Language Is and The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

Jonathan McNicol photo

The linguist John McWhorter joins us to talk about his book What Language Is (And What It Isn't, and What It Could Be). From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin—What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. Plus, a look at the career con man and serial impostor Clark Rockefeller, who wasn't, ya know, actually a Rockefeller at all.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:10 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Your Call is Important to Us: What a Load of Bullsh-t

Chion Wolf

We're talking today about a word that can refer to the solid waste produced by male cattle. It can also refer to nonsensical talk not grounded in fact. In 1986, the American philosopher Harry Frankfurt published a scholarly analysis of this concept. In some ways it was a groundbreaking paper, but it also constituted a furtherance of an almost constant inquiry by thinking people.

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Where We Live
4:20 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

The Reverberations of Chet Baker and Joni Mitchell

Chet Baker was a troubled soul, who had one of the most unique and haunting voices in jazz. Joni Mitchell  is a complex artist who has stayed away from the spotlight, letting her music tell her story. We explore these two iconic artists on Where We Live.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:52 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Giants of Poetry and Literature

NicRad on Flickr Creative Commons

Today’s show features two loosely-related interviews. Billy Collins is probably the most popular poet in the United States and this summer he’s guest curating and guest voicing The Writer’s Almanac, a popular Garrison Keillor radio segment which showcases one poem every day and then looks back-- usually because of birthdays—at creators of the past.

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Arts/Culture
5:21 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

In Praise Of Haiku

Haiku by Stanford Forrester.
Credit Chion Wolf - Filtered Through Instagram

It all started last March.  Emily Caswell, who was then working at the front desk here in the Dankosky Building, sent an email to all employees about a pair of glasses found in the parking lot.

I wrote a haiku:

doesn’t it look fine
seeing the world in a blur
without these glasses?

Two weeks later, Emily sent us all an email about a gray men's belt found in the parking lot.
So I wrote:

As gray as the sky,
As gray as UFO men,
This belt, found in March.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:02 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

In Praise of Haiku

Chion Wolf, filtered through Instagram

It all started last March.  Emily Caswell, who was then working at the front desk here in the Dankosky Building, sent an email to all employees about a pair of glasses found in the parking lot.

I wrote a haiku:

doesn’t it look fine
seeing the world in a blur
without these glasses?

Two weeks later, Emily sent us all an email about a gray men's belt found in the parking lot.
So I wrote:

As gray as the sky,
As gray as UFO men,
This belt, found in March.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:23 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Stephen King: Writers Are 'Secret Agents' of the Arts

Shane Leonard/Hard Case Crime

Imagine somebody offered you a ticket to go hear Stephen King be interviewed (by me) on stage at the Bushnell in Hartford July 18. Imagine also that you had never read any of his work.  What would Stephen King want you to read in the next ten days, just to get to know him.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:38 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Faith Middleton's Book Show: June 6, 2013

katerha/flickr creative commons

The Book Show gang joins Faith live with recommendations in all categories. And we’ll take your calls! What’re you reading? What’ve you recently read and loved? Are you a librarian? A teacher? Are you part of a book club? Call us!

 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Do You Have A Connecticut Accent?

Flickr www.freestock.ca

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Do You Have a Connecticut Accent?

Flickr www.freestock.ca

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:37 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Susan Howe, Katha Pollitt, And Ayana Mathis On The Rhythm Of Language

Flickr Creative Commons, shutterhacks

Today you will meet two poets and one novelist, all women, all fascinating, all appearing around here in the next three days. 

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Education Reform
8:47 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Hartford Public Schools To Improve Services For ELL Students

Hartford Public Schools have signed an agreement with federal education authorities to improve supports and services for students who are English Language Learners.  

A complaint was filed with U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2007 on behalf of Somali-Bantu, Liberian and Spanish-speaking students in the Hartford Public Schools.   

"Students did not have appropriate amounts of supports, accommodations and services so they could understand what was being asked of them."

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Language
8:47 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Hartford Public Schools to Improve Services for ELL Students

Hartford Public Schools have signed an agreement with federal education authorities to improve supports and services for students who are English Language Learners.  

A complaint was filed with U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2007 on behalf of Somali-Bantu, Liberian and Spanish-speaking students in the Hartford Public Schools.   

"Students did not have appropriate amounts of supports, accommodations and services so they could understand what was being asked of them."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Abstruse, Recondite Vocabulary

Flickr Creative Commons, crdotx

Most language experts agree that English has more words than almost any other language, although it's difficult to pin down how many words any particular language contains.

The Oxford English Dictionary has entries for roughly 600,000 words, but it also doesn't contain lots of commonly used words. So you could attempt to master English vocabulary and not have time to master anything else.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:46 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Dating After Divorce, the New Haven Green, and You are What You Speak

Padraic/flickr creative commons

What is it about other people’s language that moves some of us to anxiety or even rage? For centuries, sticklers the world over have donned the cloak of authority to control the way people use words. Now this sensational new book strikes back to defend the fascinating, real-life diversity of this most basic human faculty.

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Leave a message after the tone!
3:53 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

The WNPR Voicemail Project: Share Your Haiku

Illustration by J. Holt / Flickr Creative Commons

WNPR has an experimental radio project and we want you to get involved. The idea is simple - we provide a theme, you call our hotline and tell a story. 

The theme: a work-related haiku!

On July 22, Colin McEnroe is doing a show all about the haiku, and we want you to write one inspired by the work YOU do. Call up our voicemail number and leave us a message with your haiku: 860-580-9677.

Haiku is unrhymed, syllabic poetry - three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables.

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