Posted in: 2023

233. Digitizing a 250-Year-Old Dictionary of English

Beth Young is an associate professor in the English department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, United States. She is also the coordinator of the ongoing project to digitize the dictionary of English compiled by Samuel Johnson and first published in 1755.

Beth's Profile
Johnson's Dictionary Online

Posted in: 2023

182. Enhancing the Oxford English Dictionary

My guest today is Dr. David Williams, who is an associate professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, located in Waterloo, Canada. He has a five-year academic grant of over $250,000 to continue his work on the Oxford English Dictionary, with two main goals, which we talk about.

David Williams

The Life of Words: Poetry, Lexicography, and Computing

Posted in: 2023

164. How Was Your Weekend, Fin de Semaine, or Fine Settimana?

I discuss the recent announcement by the Italian government that it is introducing legislation to levy fines on those who use foreign terms, when there is an Italian equivalent, in official documents. I also talk about similar prescriptive tendencies by the governments of France and of the province of Quebec in Canada.


"Italian government seeks to penalize the use of English words" (CTV News)

Grande dizionario della lingua italiana

Dictionnaire de l’Académie française

Vitrine linguistique (Office québécois de la langue française)

Oxford English Dictionary

Posted in: 2022

93. Dictionaries, and Changes and Development in the English Language

My guest today is Dr. Valerie Fridland, who is a professor of linguistics in the English department at the University of Nevada, Reno. She’s also more publically engaged than many linguists, with a regular column in Psychology Today, and an upcoming book called—you heard it here first!—Like, Literally, Dude, which is about modern English, its beauties and controversies, and how it changes and adapts. This is the first part of my conversation with her: you can hear the rest on Friday in episode 94.