05 July 2006

Russell Smith Is Passionate About Language

As a follow-up to my post the other day about new radio show "And Sometimes Y", here's a great interview with the show's host, Russell Smith. Smith is a novelist and popular columnist with The Globe and Mail. He's passionate about the use of language:
Painters love to mess around with paint; they know about the different luminosity of each brand name. They love paint itself. Writers should have a similar excitement and curiosity about words. If they think that kind of obsession is "snobbish", then they're in the wrong profession. Writing is basically, deeply geeky.
To get a sense of what "And Sometimes Y" is like, definitely check out Helen Spitzer's great interview with him. One more plug for the show. The current episode of "And Sometimes Y" repeats on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on CBC Radio One (click here to find links for local broadcasts). Here's the description of this episode:
Why do words die? Like cells in the body, the words of a living language follow a kind of life cycle, in which death, mutation and creation form a normal part of healthy existence. But can this change also be unhealthy? Can it lead to the death of an entire language? We hear from a writer who specializes in digging up dead words, another who has travelled among dead languages, and also some rather ill characters called Wherefore, Fishmonger, and Hinterland, who tell us directly about their predicament.
Via cleverLazy.

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