In a Manner of Speaking
In a Manner of Speaking
Paul Meier
A podcast on the spoken word
Episode 40 (Reading to Children, with Mem Fox)
For the May 2021 podcast, Paul discusses reading to children with Mem Fox, Australia's bestselling writer and author of more than 40 books, including "Possum Magic" and "Time for Bed." For more about Mem, visit
May 1
36 min
Episode 39 (Speech and Voice Disorders)
For the April 2021 podcast, Paul discusses speech and voice disorders with Joanna Cazden, a speech pathologist specializing in voice rehabilitation for actors and singers, and an advocate for preventive vocal health education. For more information on Joanna, visit and check out the Voice and Speech Disorders collection on IDEA (, which she founded.
Apr 1
39 min
Episode 38 (The Curious Affair of the Glottal Stop and the Schwa)
For the March episode, Paul discusses the phonetic phenomena known as the glottal stop and the schwa. The glottal stop is that little explosion you feel in your throat when you say phrases such as  "uh-huh," "huh-uh," and "uh-oh," while the schwa is the most common vowel in the English language that is not formally a vowel. Instead, it's a vowel substitute that sounds like "uh."
Mar 2
25 min
Episode 37 (Polari: the Secret Language of Gay Men)
For this month's podcast Paul discusses Polari, the secret language used predominantly by gay men in the United Kingdom in the 19th and 20th centuries. Paul's guest is Paul Baker, professor of English Language at Lancaster University and author of multiple books on the topic.
Feb 1
35 min
Episode 36 (Shakespeare's Shapely Language)
The topic for the January 2021 podcast is what Paul's guest, Jan Gist, calls "Shakespeare's Shapely Language." Shapes is her term for literary or rhetorical tropes; she and Paul broaden the discussion to reflect on how such ancient devices figure in advertising, political oratory, and other forms of the spoken word today. For more information on Jan, visit
Jan 1
38 min
Episode 35 (The First Sound Recordings)
This month's podcast focuses on the earliest sound recordings: the experiments of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville and Thomas Edison. Paul Meier's guest is Patrick Feaster, principal of First (along with David Giavannoni) and creator of, a website devoted to the history of the phonograph and related media. Film historian and IDEA Executive Editor Cameron Meier joins the conversation.
Dec 1, 2020
49 min
Episode 34 ("It's All Greek to Me")
The topic for November 2020 is the Ancient Greek language. Paul's guest is Rush Rehm, professor of Theater and Classics at Stanford University, and their discussion tackles many aspects of Ancient Greek, including the sound of the language and theatrical performances in Ancient Greece.
Nov 1, 2020
53 min
Episode 33 (Voices of Africa)
October's guest is Dr. Joyce Sukumane, the distinguished South African linguist. Paul and Joyce discuss many topics related to African languages, voices, dialects, and language policy.
Oct 1, 2020
31 min
Episode 32 (So You Wanna Change Your Accent?)
September's guest is renowned dialect coach Jerome Butler, founder of Paul and Jerome discuss many topics related to dialect coaching but pay particular attention to accent modification (often called accent reduction), for those wishing to alter their native accent or dialect.
Sep 1, 2020
41 min
Episode 31 (Foreign-Language Accents)
In the August 2020 edition of the podcast, Paul discusses foreign-language accents in a variety of contexts, including acting, everyday comprehension, "accent reduction," "reverse mistakes," the terms "accents and dialects," and the rhythm of language.
Aug 1, 2020
34 min
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