Language begins in silence -- even babies babble to fill the silence with sound. But when a poet faces breast cancer, she discovers the silence within. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, where language comes from and how it's used. Poems about death, and life, jokes that fought the Nazis, and the language of names.
Kathleen Stokker teaches Norwegian at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and is the author of "Folklore Fights the Nazis." She tells Steve Paulson some of the jokes Norwegians used to show their contempt for their German occupiers during WWII, and explains why Norwegian and Danish jokes were different.SEGMENT 2:
Poet Hilda Raz edits the literary magazine Prairie Schooner and is the author of several books of poetry, including "Divine Honors." She tells Judith Strasser that being diagnosed with breast cancer left her without language and that she found speech again in silence. Also, writer Anne Bernays and her husband, author and editor Justin Kaplan, have together written "The Language of Names." They tell Judith Strasser about the confusion their names created in their childhoods; how they became fascinated with the business of names; and how Anne Bernays names her fictional characters.SEGMENT 3:
Jim Crotty gives Jim Fleming some lessons from his book "How to Talk American." It turns out that "tunnel people" have a lot in common with "five and dimers;" that you'd do well to beware of things that are "good for the corn;" and that you probably don't want to date "a Monet."
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