The World in Words
[Episode recommendation: What the Cuck?]
This PRI show about language is an underrated treasure, consistently uncovering unique stories that fall within the scope of its wheelhouse. Now the rise of Trump sees The World in Words look to the language that has attended that rise. And what rich linguistic fodder we find in Trump! There's his mangled, circular syntax, his team's Orwellian coinages, and - in this episode - the dog-whistling slurs deployed by his supporters. "Cuck" is used by the alt-right to describe a weak person, usually a man, who has sold out on conservative principles (see also: cuckservative). Layers of racist and anti-woman animosity are encoded in the word, too. As an insult, it has ancient roots from "cuckold", but the path to its current iteration was a fascinating one, and host Nina Porzucki speaks with linguist Michael Adams, sex columnist Dan Savage, and recently-punched alt-right spokesperson Richard Spencer in an attempt to nail down where, why and how the right uses "cuck".