Wherein we spin a shitpost question into linguistics gold.

Jump right to:

  • 0:58 Mailbag; revisiting our treatment of linguistic typology
  • 12:14 Language Thing of the Day: The Comparative Method
  • 32:32 Question 1: Is English a creole?
  • 40:34 Question 2: Are Old English and Modern English the same language?
  • 51:07 Question 3: Is there any part of language that isn’t just slang and jargon that’s made it into the mainstream?
  • 1:07:47 Last week’s puzzler answer
  • 1:08:33 The puzzler: Take the name of an old communication technology, add a letter, and mix the letters around. You should get the name of a new communication technology — what is it?

Covered in this episode:

  • How a language’s words and syntax can fall into different places on the typology spectrum
  • We’re not Fractions After Dark, but we do like PIE
  • Why Grimm’s Law should be called Rask’s Rule
  • Star Wars spoilers via linguistic sound changes
  • A linguistics hot take with merit
  • The deterioration of the institution of marriage via etymology
  • Time is the cement mixer of language
  • A defense of business jargon

Links and other post-show thoughts:

Ask us questions:

Send your questions (text or voice memo) to questions@linguisticsafterdark.com, or find us as @lxadpodcast on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.


Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Edits: Luca; transcript: Luca/Jenny; notes: Jenny/Eli. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod.

And until next time… if you weren’t consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth, now you are :)