Destroying language myths (with Shana Poplack)


Manage episode 278071049 series 1932821
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It’s an unfortunate fact that many people don’t know the truth about how language works outside of their grammar books, in the real world, but recently I spoke to someone who is trying to change that. Shana Poplack and her sociolinguistics laboratory at the University of Ottawa are known as the mythbusters, because they destroy damaging myths about language and language change. They don’t look at language in its ideal state: they look at how language is used every day by real people, and the discoveries they make are often controversial, and fly in the face of deeply-held beliefs, but their discoveries are always based in truth.

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