The Vocal Fries

The podcast about linguistic discrimination.

About the show

The podcast about linguistic discrimination. Learn about how we judge other people's speech as a sneaky way to be racist, sexist, classist, etc. Carrie and Megan teach you how to stop being an accidental jerk.

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  • Two Canadians, an Australian and an American walk into a Linguistics Conference...what is this, a crossover episode?

    January 14th, 2018  |  36 mins 55 secs
    australian english, canadian english, gretchen mcculloch, language, lauren gawne, lingthusiasm, linguistic discrimination, linguistics, linguistics society of america, lsa, sociolinguistics

    In this special episode of the Vocal Fries, Carrie and Megan chat with Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne of Lingthusiasm about Australian and Canadian English while at the Linguistics Society of America's annual conference.

  • French (Canadian) Fries

    December 31st, 2017  |  48 mins 4 secs
    acadian, canada, carrie gillon, discrimination, french, french canadian, language, laurentian, lingusitics, manitoba, megan figueroa, metis, nicole rosen, science, sociolinguitics, winnipeg

    Megan and Carrie talk with 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).

  • Down in the Holler

    December 10th, 2017  |  48 mins 21 secs
    appalachia, appalachian mountains, carrie gillon, discrimination, language, lingusitics, megan figueroa, paul reed, science, sociolinguitics, southern language

    Carrie and Megan talk with 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.

  • ChicaNO? ChicanYES!

    November 26th, 2017  |  40 mins 10 secs
    carmen fought, chicana, chicano english, discrimination, language, lingusitics, science, sociolinguitics, spanglish

    Megan and Carrie talk with 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.

  • Borderlands/La frontera

    November 12th, 2017  |  1 hr 20 mins
    alberto rios, arizona, border, discrimination, language, lingusitics, poetry, science, vocal fry

    Carrie and Megan chat with award-winning Chicano Poet Alberto Álvaro Ríos about living on the border between the US and Mexico and between English and Spanish.

  • Freaky Fryday

    October 29th, 2017  |  35 mins 5 secs
    discrimination, halloween, language, lingusitics, occult, science, superstitions

    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!

  • A Sirious Problem

    October 15th, 2017  |  39 mins 55 secs
    ai, alexa, artificial intelligence, automatic speech recognition, discrimination, language, lingusitics, science, siri, speech recognition

    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.

  • On the Rez

    October 1st, 2017  |  42 mins 26 secs
    canada, discrimination, first nations, kwakuitl, language, linguistics, rez english, salish, science, squamish, wakashan

    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.

  • Grammar Not-zi

    September 17th, 2017  |  41 mins 41 secs
    discrimination, grammar, language, lingusitics, prescriptivism, science

    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.

  • Southern Fried

    September 4th, 2017  |  39 mins 4 secs
    discrimination, language, lingusitics, science, southern english, the south

    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.

  • Foul-Mouthed Women

    July 31st, 2017  |  43 mins 13 secs
    cursing, discrimination, language, lingusitics, profanity, science, swearing

    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

  • Uppity Women

    July 15th, 2017  |  31 mins 49 secs
    discrimination, language, lingusitics, science, vocal fry

    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.