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Word for Word

Author: Macquarie Dictionary

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Australian English has many fascinating stories, interesting etymologies, and wonderfully weird slang. The language is constantly evolving as the world around us changes; new words are created, meanings change, and other things get left behind. In Word for Word, we explore the surprising histories behind everyday words and phrases, go behind the scenes with the dictionary editors, and meet some of Australia's most interesting word-lovers, from Scrabble champions to hip-hop artists.

Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.
28 Episodes
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#26 Polari

#26 Polari

2019-08-0100:38:14

Secret languages abound in history and in modern culture, with words occasionally making the leap into the mainstream of spoken English. In this episode we example the secret language of Polari with Professor Paul Baker and Colleen Windor of Les Girls. Plus, the Macquarie team discuss which Polari words have made it into the dictionary, and the resurgence of some words on the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
#25 Word of the Year 2018

#25 Word of the Year 2018

2019-01-1500:20:45

It's that time! Take a peek behind the scenes with us as Macquarie Dictionary chooses its 2018 Word of the Year.   In this episode tag along to the secret Word of the Year committee meeting hosted at Macquarie HQ, featuring guest judges Rae Johnston (Editor of Junkee), Jenna Guillaume (Editor-at-Large of Buzzfeed Australia), James Bradley (novelist and critic), and Tiger Webb (ABC Language).    What's your choice for Word of the Year 2018? Review our shortlist and cast your vote for People's Choice here. Voting closes 21st January 2019.   Read more about Word for Word at:  macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
Can a cryptic crossword really preserve your memory and super-charge your brain? Australia's favourite cruciverbalist, David "Don't Attempt" Astle, investigates. Meanwhile, the Macquarie team decrypts linguistic mysteries, ciphers and puzzles, and the conversation takes them from Ancient Egypt to your local butcher's shop.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
In Indigenous cultures, traditional languages are bound up with family, history and place. In this episode, we meet three Noongar people - Miles Franklin-winning novelist Kim Scott; music historian Clint Bracknell; and performer and director Kylie Bracknell - to ask how an ancient, endangered language can live and thrive today. Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
When it comes to bugging a suspect, re-interpreting a dusty statute, or presenting evidence in a criminal trial, the shifting tides of language draw the law with them. In this episode, forensic linguist Dr Helen Fraser tests our ear-witness fallibility with speech evidence from a real-life murder case. Plus, the Macquarie team remembers that time they had to investigate a ransom note. Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
#21 For the love of words

#21 For the love of words

2018-03-2900:15:201

Surprise! We're back with another bonus episode, featuring some funny, fascinating, unaired tidbits from Season 2.   Also, you can vote for us in the Australian Podcast Awards! Voting closes 1st April, so head to this link posthaste: bit.ly/2pPuGI3
#20 Take a bow, Sue Butler

#20 Take a bow, Sue Butler

2018-03-2200:17:08

So ... we have news. It's officially the end of an era. Our long-time Editor Sue Butler is putting away her pencil and catalogue cards to retire, after 48 years at Macquarie Dictionary.   Join us as we look back with Sue at her incredible career in words.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
#19 Word of the Year 2017

#19 Word of the Year 2017

2018-01-2900:30:55

It's that time! Take a peek behind the scenes with us as Macquarie Dictionary chooses its 2017 Word of the Year.    We sidle into the secret Word of the Year committee meeting, featuring guest judges Dr Karl and Tiger Webb of ABC Language. The editors lament the worst evergreen query - "But It's Two Words!" - and throw a tiny bit of shade at other dictionaries' picks (youthquake, anyone?). And finally, Adrik overcomes an obstacle.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
#18 Harmless drudgery

#18 Harmless drudgery

2017-11-2900:18:261

It takes a special kind of person to be a dictionary editor. You need an instinctive understanding of language, a sharp, ever-listening ear, and the ability to laugh off death threats (really). In this very special episode, Merriam-Webster's Kory Stamper and Macquarie Dictionary's Alison Moore discuss both the drudgery and the delights of their work, as we journey into the secret heart of the dictionary editor.    Kory Stamper's book is Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
#17 Good doggo

#17 Good doggo

2017-10-2400:25:02

Buckle up for a wild ride down the Information Superhighway, and into Cyberspace, where language moves faster than we can catch it. While the dictionary team reflects on the technology words of the past, our resident internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch fights the good fight on hyphenated email; Adrik and Kate look for favourite words at Oz Comic-Con; and we discover a brand new language online, all for the love of dogs (it's h*ckin good).   This is the final episode of Season 2, but stay subscribed! There are more bonus episodes to come in the weeks ahead.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast
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