- Podcasts in Family
- Stations in Family
Americanize!: Why the Americanisation of English Is a Good Thing
Do words like movie or cookie raise your linguistic hackles? Do you hate to hear someone ask if they can 'get' a coffee or 'reach out' to you? Lexicographer Susie Dent - more usually found in the Dictionary Corner of Channel 4's Countdown - explores the history of how Americanisms have entered British English and argues that maybe we should learn to love these transatlantic imports. Susie hears from the Queen's English Society about why they feel British English should be protected; We discover that dislike of Americanisms goes back to Dr Johnson and hear from the Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary about some of the surprising words which started life on the other side of the Atlantic; There's another surprise when Susie travels to Stratford upon Avon and discovers that some of the most disliked Americanisms first appeared in Shakespeare's plays; There's an actor's perspective on this when Susie meets Tamsin Greig, who's been appearing in Twelfth Night at the National Theatre; Rock and roll singer, Marty Wilde, remembers teenagers' enthusiasm for all things American in the 1950s and their elders' despair at this assault on the English language. Susie concludes with an exhortation to all of us to throw off our British linguistic reserve and to Americanize! - if only a little bit. She encourages us to embrace the verve of American vocabulary, and to recognize that many of our American bugbears actually came from Britain in the first place. Presenter: Susie Dent Producer: Louise Adamson Executive Producer: Samir Shah A Juniper production for BBC Radio 4.
Blinded by War
Adam Scourfield interviews three British veterans - of the Second World War, the Northern Irish Troubles and the Falklands - all of whom were blinded in the course of these conflicts. Ray Sherriff was in the Parachute Regiment during World War Two, and fought in Italy and Sicily, even after being shot in the chest in North Africa. He was blinded while fighting at Arnhem, and taken prisoner. Ray Hazan was serving in Northern Ireland in 1973, when he severely injured by a parcel bomb, which took his sight, and his right hand, and killed his colleague. When Adam spoke to him in 2000, he had not talked about this for 27 years. Terry Bullingham served as a Fleet Air Arm engineer in the Falklands on HMS Antrim. He vividly recalls the Argentinian air assault which blinded him. As he sardonically remarks, the last thing he saw was a Mirage - the plane that attacked his ship. So each man's experience of military life before they were blinded is very different from the others. Even the ways they lost their sight are surprisingly divergent. But they each share the terrible moment of realising that their lives had changed forever. And from there, Adam traces their different routes to coming to terms with what had happened to them. Written and Presented by Adam Scourfield Producers: Adam Scourfield and Phil Tinline.
Drama in 12 short parts. Inspired by the digital transformation in disaster response.
Less is Less: Why Scandinavian Design Leaves Me Cold
Have we reached peak Scandi furniture? Laurence Llewelyn Bowen thinks so. In a witty and acerbic polemic, Laurence laments the blonde and bland Scandinavian design that has dislodged pattern, antiquity and a tradition of elaborate decoration from British homes. What do our choices in furniture and interior design say about our social aspirations? How does class influence taste? And what causes our relationship with how our homes look to shift so dramatically? In stripping our homes of decoration, Laurence worries that we are not only selling ourselves short but contributing to the death of British style. Laurence visits the Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair and issues a challenge to some of the stars of Nordic furniture to give an account of their worldview and design philosophy. Sara Kristofferson, author of Design by Ikea, explains how the company, now celebrating its 30th year in the UK, encouraged the British to chuck out their chintz in favour of a cleaner, modernist aesthetic inspired by mid-century Scandinavia. But could brown furniture finally be on the comeback? At Lots Road, auctioneer Nick Carter has noticed a slowing down in sales of Scandi style in favour of an increased interest in 18th and 19th century antiques. What does this say about Britain in 2017? And upstairs in Laurence's 16th century Cotswolds home, we make a shocking discovery regarding his daughter Hermione's taste in interior decoration. A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.
Miss Simpson's Children
The story of how one woman offered refuge to leading intellectuals fleeing from the Nazis, helping transform the cultural and intellectual landscape of Britain and the United States. Shortly after Hitler came to power, an organisation was set up in Britain to help academics who were being thrown out of their jobs in Nazi Germany. It was called the Academic Assistance Council. The council's assistant secretary, Esther Simpson, became its dynamic force. She called all the refugees she assisted her 'children'. Sixteen of them ended up as Nobel Prize winners. Many would later admit that they owed their lives to her. David Edmonds tells the unknown story of Esther Simpson and the brilliant minds she saved. Producer Mark Savage. (Photo credit: The Lotte Meitner-Graf Archive).
BBC 4's Seriously... Podcast presents a rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds. Presented by Ashley John-Baptiste, this twice weekly podcast replaces the Radio 4 Documentary of the Week. Station website