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Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Words for Granted is a podcast that looks at how words change over time. Host Ray Belli uses etymology as a way of examining broader changes in history, culture, religion, and more.
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Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast
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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 26, 2016

The English language uses the word ‘cell’ in a handful of contexts. We have prison cells, brain cells, battery cells, and of course, cell phones. At first glance, these various uses of the word ‘cell’ seem unrelated, yet they’re all etymologically connected and can be traced back to a single source: medieval monasteries. In today's episode, we explore the unlikely historical relationship between the living quarters of Medieval Christian monks and the modern technology behind the cellular phone. 

Aug 14, 2016
Today's episode begins a short mini-series that explores the origins of technology-themed words. Although digital technology didn't permeate our culture until the twentieth century, the word ‘digital’ has ancient roots. Originally, it simply referred to … our fingers and toes!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aug 5, 2016

The word ‘comfort’ once described the spiritual consolation given by God to an individual. Today, it describes commercialized products like air conditioners, tennis shoes, and sofas. A pretty drastic change, to say the least. How did this evolution take place? Today's episode looks at the impact of capitalism and consumerism on our ideas about what ‘comfort’ is. 

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