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Author: Ray Belli

Ray Belli
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Full Bio : Ray Belli is the host of Words for Granted, a podcast that looks at how words change over time. He is also a professional drummer and part-time ESL teacher.

Episode 70: Noah Webster (Early Works and Spelling Reform)

Noah Webster is best known for his "all-American" dictionary, but in today's episode, we take a look at Webster's earlier works including The Grammatical Institute...

Episode 69: OK

"OK" is both the most spoken and written word in the entire world. It's such a fundamental part of modern communication that it's hard...

Episode 67: The American Pronunciation of R (Rhoticity)

One of the most defining characteristics of the Standard American English accent is “rhoticity,” or the pronunciation of the letter R. Unlike Standard British...

Episode 67: The Emergence of the American Lexicon

The English spoken in America began to diverge from the English spoken in Britain shortly after British settlers first arrived in the New World....

Interview with Lynne Murphy, author of “The Prodigal Tongue”

In today's episode, I interview linguist, professor, blogger, and author Lynne Murphy about her book, The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and...

Episode 65: Dialect vs. Language (Intro to American English, Part 1)

"American English" is the variety of English spoken in the United States of America ... obviously. But is American English a language unto itself...

Episode 64: France

The name of “France” derives from the name of a Germanic tribe called the “Franks.” In addition to “France,” the name of the “Franks”...

Episode 63: Turkey

In today’s episode, we explore the etymological connection between Turkey the country and turkey the bird. Even though turkeys are native to North America,...

Episode 62: Cincinnati

The American city of "Cincinnati" derives a patriotic fraternal organization called "The Society of Cincinnati." The society itself is named after Cincinnatus, a legendary...

Episode 61: Names of Germany

There are more names for Germany than there are for any other European country. This is due to a long history of disunity among...

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