Episode 26: Mystic Adamant Spoon (feat. Kevin Stroud!)

This, friends, is a very special episode! Not only is it the first time that Ryan and Amy have been able to record an episode in the same room, but there’s a special guest here as well! Kevin Stroud (of the History of English Podcast) sat on the Language Podcasting panel with us (and Mark from The Endless Knot, Mignon Fogarty – Grammar Girl – and Patrick Cox from The World in Words) and presented his own talk at the Sound Education conference in Boston. He was gracious enough to come along and bring a word of his own to chat about this episode.

In this episode, Amy looks at tidal rivers with “mystic“, Ryan looks at steely opinions with “adamant” and Kevin talk about how civilized the Vikings really were with “spoon“.

Lexitecture is a podcast about words. In each episode, a Canadian (Ryan) and a Scot (Amy) each present their current favourite word and talk about its origins, current use, and try to puzzle out how it may have gone from A to B. If you love thinking and talking about words, word origins, or just random bits of head-scratching language trivia, this may be the show for you!

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4 comments on Episode 26: Mystic Adamant Spoon (feat. Kevin Stroud!)

  1. WALTER HARRIS says:

    This is my first listening of your fine podcast, and I hope you won’t mind if I pose a question related to style rather substance. Specifically, your accents. I get that Amy’s accent is Scottish (not Welsh!). I am familiar with your guest Kevin’s East Carolina accent since I’ve been listening to his podcast for many a year. But I’m struck by Ryan’s speech. I see he is Canadian but I struggle to hear a Canadian accent. It sounds hardly different from mine (western New England). If I’m listening for it, perhaps I hear a difference in some “o” and “a” sounds—such as in “opposite” and “on” and “than”. And of course the famous “about”. But could it be that Canadian and American accents are merging? I realize this may strike Canadians as anathema, but is it happening?

    1. admin says:

      Hi Walter, glad you found us!

      And don’t worry – questions of any kind are always welcome!

      Ryan is indeed from Canada – born and raised in Ontario (that’s who’s typing this!). I feel like there are pockets of New England (just like there are pockets of Ontario) that have very distinctive accents (who forgets the Bostonian “Hahvahd”?), but there are others that are much more muted. The early settlement history of the eastern provinces and the Northeastern US is relatively similar, after all, so it’s not all that unusual for accents to be either more or less distinctive, depending on where you’re actually from. I’d be really curious to hear back from you if you’re listening to further episodes and you come across a word or two where you *do* hear a distinct accent!

      I think there may be more discrepancy when it comes to vocabulary than accent, as well, but like with a lot of things, maybe it’s just a case that our differences have a tendency to be over-hyped compared to the reality of the situation… 🙂

      1. WALTER HARRIS says:

        Thank you Ryan for this info. I do agree the differences are few and far between. I have some ancestors who came down to New England from the Maritimes, so maybe they and others left a mark linguistically as well as genetically. I will keep an ear turned to your enunciation and vocabulary.

  2. Beauty podcast, eh! Kevin Stroud from the History of English Podcast sent me here. Glad I found it. I didn’t know about spoons, but it has a Wikipedia article. I heard Amy say “gormless” which is not a word most North Americans would know and whose etymology might be worth a look!

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