Quiet Juice
12 episodes


Language unites and divides us. It mystifies and delights us. Patrick Cox and Kavita Pillay tell the stories of people with all kinds of linguistic passions: comedians, writers, researchers; speakers of endangered languages; speakers of multiple languages; and just speakers—people like you and me.



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11 May 2022

The rare joys of learning Finnish

Quiet Juice
27 April 2022

Presenting More Than a Feeling

Quiet Juice
13 April 2022

Will climate change wipe out French in Louisiana?

Quiet Juice
30 March 2022

When did comedians start saying ‘punching up’ and ‘punching down’?

Quiet Juice
16 March 2022

The language of the outside people

Quiet Juice
02 March 2022

The speechways of the folk

Quiet Juice
16 February 2022

‘Manifesting’ the language of self-help

Quiet Juice
02 February 2022

Why some words are just funny

Quiet Juice

Why do so many of us laugh at a word like 'poop' but not at, say, 'treadmill'? Is it all down to their meaning? Or are we also responding to the sound of these words? Psycholinguist Chris Westbury set out to discover the answer. Assisted by an inventive computer, Westbury and colleagues dreamed up a bunch of non-words (like "snunkoople"), and tested their funniness on the public. We discuss the results, as well as our favorite funny words—and we get some authentically amusing help from comedians Joanna Hausmann and Filip Jeremic.

Music in this episode by The Fly Guy Five, Little Island Leap, Arthur Benson, Josef Falkenskold, V.V. Campos, Birdies, Chasing Madison and Mike Franklyn. Photo by Nola Cox. Read a transcript here. And watch the strangest soccer match of all time (think Schopenhauer) here.

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19 January 2022

A mother tongue reclaimed

Quiet Juice

When Julie Sedivy was four, her Czech family emigrated to Canada. In this episode we hear how Julie became estranged from her native Czech, only to rediscover it after the death of her father. Julie Sedivy's linguistic memoir is Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self.

Photo (courtesy Julie Sedivy) shows Julie, center, and two siblings on their arrival at Montreal's airport. Music in this episode by Gavin Luke, Arthur Benson, Esme Cruz, Aerian, Jon Bjork, Spectacles Wallet and Watch. Go here to read a transcript and see photos of Julie's family in the Czech Republic.

05 January 2022

Teach me your song

Quiet Juice