If someone clapped out the rhythm of a song you knew, would you recognize it? It’s pretty unlikely, given what’s called the curse of knowledge. To the person with the song in their head, it’s obvious, but you can’t expect anyone else to hear it. It’s an important concept for anyone who wants to be a better writer. This is among many fascinating concepts discussed in Steven Pinker’s new book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, which some are calling the new Strunk and White. This is part of a complete episode.
- The Black Dog (episode #1536) 11/25/2019: Books were rare treasures in the Middle Ages, painstakingly copied out by hand. So how to protect them from theft? Scribes sometimes added a curse... [more]
- Beside Myself (episode #1535) 11/04/2019: The new Downton Abbey movie is a luscious treat for fans of the public-television period piece, but how accurate is the script when it comes... [more]
- Skookum (episode #1534) 10/21/2019: So you've long dreamed of writing fiction, but don't know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes,... [more]
- Life of Riley (episode #1533) 10/07/2019: Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout... [more]
- Off the Turnip Truck (episode #1532) 09/23/2019: It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham... [more]