Dr Laura Wright continues to co-host BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth, a series which explores the world of words and the ways in which we use them.
Monday 11 February – Talk of the Town: How Places Got Their Names
From Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Zennor, via Great Snoring, Lost and Nempnett Thrubwell, Michael Rosen and linguists Dr Laura Wright and Professor Richard Coates explore the origins of the UK’s place names.
Monday 28 January – Demystifying the language of the courtroom
Family law barrister and chair of The Transparency Project Lucy Reed talks to Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright about the language of the courtroom and how to make family justice clearer.
Tuesday 23 October – Raymond Williams’ Keywords
Michael Rosen talks to academic Colin MacCabe and Dr Laura Wright about Raymond Williams’ 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, which looks at the changing meanings of words such as ‘culture’, ‘art’, ‘nature’ and ‘society’.
Monday 8 October – Multicultural London English
Tuesday 25 September – Lane Greene on Editing
Lane Greene talks to Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright about the joys of editing and how it can improve writing.
Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk to maths writer Rob Eastaway about imperial and metric measurements. How and why do they co-exist in the United Kingdom? Why are teenagers still talking in feet and inches when at school they are taught in centimetres? And where do the words ‘gallon’, ‘tonne’ ‘acre’ and ‘yard’ come from?
Monday 28 May – Shop Names
Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright look at the history behind and witty wordplay used in shop names, with guest Greg Rowland of the Semiotic Alliance, which invents names for products.
Monday 14 May – The Words That Saved Me
Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk to Sally Bayley, author of Girl With Dove, about how words both mystified and rescued her during a highly unusual childhood.
Monday 7 May – Me, Myself & AI
Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright are joined in the studio by a virtual assistant and Tom Hewitson – conversation designer for the likes of Siri, Alexa and Cortana. They discuss whether virtual assistants can ever speak like actual humans, and how humans are developing a new vernacular for machines.