The Year of the “Vaxx”

On today’s episode of Spectacular Vernacular, Nicole and Ben pay tribute to the late pioneer in linguistics and cognitive science, Lila Gleitman. They also interview Peter Sokolowski of Merriam-Webster and Fiona McPherson of the Oxford English Dictionary about the keywords of 2021. And finally, we bring on a listener for some wordplay. We hope you’re familiar with the diversity of English dialects. You could win a year’s membership to Slate Plus. Do you have any language questions or fun facts to share? Email us at spectacular@slate.com.   Produced by Jasmine Ellis and Asha Saluja.  Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Lila Gleitman’s obituary in the New York Times  Lila Gleitman’s interview at the 2017 Association for Psychological Science conference  Oxford Languages Word of the Year  Merriam-Webster Word of the Year  American Dialect Society Word of the Year  American Dialect Society’s 2021 Word of the Year livestream — register to join the virtual voting session! Subscribe to Slate Plus. It’s only $1 for the first month. To learn more, go to slate.com/spectacularplus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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