Current episode always available here:
Episode 1: Uppity Women In this episode we discuss the dreaded vocal fry. We explain what vocal fry actually is, who uses it (cough everyone cough), and why we judge only women for using it. Carrie and Megan ask you to stop judging women for using vocal fry – it’s a proxy for sexism and anyway, it’s everywhere.
Episode 2: Foul-Mouthed Women Have you ever wondered why swearing feels so good? Carrie and Megan explain what counts as swearing and why it’s so fun to swear. They also discuss what types of words become profane over time and how swearing varies across languages and cultures. Also, they swear a lot. gasp
Episode 3: Southern Fried Megan and Carrie talk to Beth Troutman about what it’s like to be a Southerner in politics and TV, discuss some Southern American English features, and why it’s uncool to judge regional accents.
Episode 4: Grammar Not-zi Carrie and Megan talk about prescriptive grammar, grammar peeving, and how most of the rules you were taught about English were made up by a few white dudes way back when. Turns out, prescriptivism is racist, classist, and ableist, and enforcing these rules kinda make you a jerk. They also discuss how they had been trained in high school to be prescriptivists, and how linguistics helped them become less biased.
Episode 5: On the Rez Megan and Carrie interview Dr. Peter Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University, where he works on language revitalization. They talk about Rez English(es) (the varieties of English spoken on reserves/reservations), indigenous languages of the United States and Canada, and language revitalization.
Episode 6: A Sirious Problem Do Siri or Alexa have problems understanding you? Learn why, with Carrie and Megan. They talk to Dr. Rachael Tatman about Automatic Speech Recognition (the technology responsible for Siri and Alexa) and why it might be as biased as humans are.
Episode 7: Freaky Fryday Megan and Carrie chat about superstitions, special numbers and the real meaning of ‘witch hunt’, all while (mis?)pronouncing triskaidekaphobia. It’s the spookiest episode yet!
Episode 9: ChicaNO? ChicanYES! Megan and Carrie talk with Dr. Carmen Fought about Chicano English, why it matters, and why it isn’t the same as Spanglish. Carmen Fought is a Professor of Linguistics at Pitzer College.
Episode 10: Down in the Holler Carrie and Megan talk with Dr. Paul Reed, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama. They discuss Appalachian English (and how it’s the Southerniest of Southern), hollers, and Jack tales.
Episode 11: French (Canadian) Fries Megan and Carrie talk with Dr. Nicole Rosen, Canada Research Chair in Language Interactions at the University of Manitoba about Canadian French, including Laurentian, Acadian and Métis French. We discuss the politics, history and features of Canadian French, including the distinct features of the variety spoken in Winnipeg (where Nicole is from).
Episode 12: Two Canadians, an Australian and an American walk into a Linguistics Conference…what is this, a crossover episode? In this special episode of the Vocal Fries, Carrie and Megan chat with Gretchen McCulloch and Dr. Lauren Gawne of the Lingthusiasm podcast about Australian and Canadian English while at the Linguistics Society of America‘s annual conference.
Episode 13: We’re Ghana Talk English Megan and Carrie talk with Selikem Gotah, Masters student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, about Ghanaian English, Ghanaian Pidgin English, and other languages of Ghana. Learn a little about the history of Ghana and the status of English, Pidgin and other languages in Ghana.
Episode 15: Basque-ing in the European Sun Megan and Carrie talk with Dr. Itxaso Rodríguez-Ordóñez, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, about Basque and the discrimination Basque speakers deal with in Spain and France.
Episode 16: Black Lives Matter Carrie and Megan talk with Dr. Ersula Ore, Assistant Professor of African & African American Studies at Arizona State University, about rhetoric, respectability politics, and her arrest near campus back in 2014. Her story intersects with the larger conversation about black life in America, including the story of Sandra Bland. Content note: this conversation includes mentions of rape, lynching and police brutality.
Episode 18: Don’t Be An Accenthole Carrie and Megan talk with Ethan Kutlu, PhD student at the University of Florida about foreign accented speech (FAS), which foreign accents are judged more harshly, and why we should stop judging FAS.
Episode 21: Learning to Love Like Megan and Carrie talk with Dr. Alexandra D’Arcy Associate Professor at the University of Victoria, Director of the Sociolinguistics Research Lab and author of “Discourse-Pragmatic Variation in Context: Eight Hundred Years of like” about the many guises of “like”. Learn why “like” is useful and older than you think it is.
Episode 22: There Is No Try, There Is Only Du…olingo Carrie and Megan talk with Joan Palmiter Bajorek, PhD candidate at the University of Arizona, about the issues around learning a second language via educational technology.
Episode 23: Rock ‘N’ Rhotic Megan and Carrie talk with Dr. Bob Kennedy of the University of California, Santa Barbara about accents in song, including which accents are associated with which genres, appropriation of those accents, and r’s.
Episode 24: Don’t Mind the Gap Megan and Carrie talk with Dr. Nelson Flores, newly minted Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania about the so-called 30 million word gap, why it is problematic, and how better to think about the language children hear around them.
Episode 25: Ope, Just Gonna Sneak Right Past Ya and Grab the Ranch Carrie and Megan talk with Amanda and Lucy from the Wine and Crime podcast about all things Minnesota.
Episode 26: Keep Calm and Fry On Megan and Carrie discuss their first year of podcasting, what they’ve learned from the experience, and how vocal fry will haunt them forever.
Episode 28: Means Doesn’t Rhyme with New Orleans Megan and Carrie talk with Lisa Sprowls, PhD student at Tulane University about New Orleans English(es), especially Yat and the Garden District dialects, and speakers perception of New Orleans dialects.
Episode 29: Neaux French Left Behind Carrie and Megan talk with Dr. Nathalie Dajko, Assistant Professor at Tulane University, about varieties of French in Louisiana and the history of French and revitalization efforts in the region.
Episode 30: Todos/Todas/Todes Carrie and Megan talk with Dr. Santiago Kalinowski, Director of the the Linguistics Department at the Argentinian Academy of Letters, about lenguaje inclusivo/inclusive language in Spanish.
Episode 31: Bat Signals Megan and Carrie talk all about bats, wolves and … prairie dogs?
Episode 32: Salt Fat Acid SHADE Carrie and Megan answer listener questions about vocal fry, the alt right and jerk linguists.
Episode 33: The Rock was the Rock before the Rock, yes b’y Megan and Carrie talk with Tracy O’Brien about all things Newfoundland.
Bonus episode preview