John McWhorter on Linguistics, Music, and Race (Ep. 89 — Live at Mason)

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It would be nice if language were more efficient because it would be easier to learn other people’s languages, but it will never happen because languages are like cats. They’re always crawling in and getting dirty or stung.

On pidgin and Creole languages

On Saramaccan

On speaking well

On translating Shakespeare into English

On remote interviewing

On things under- and overrated

On the John McWhorter production function




A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between. For new episodes, visit

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