17-24 Segment 1: The Virtues of Being an Introvert

17-24A The Virtues of Being an Introvert

 

In modern society, introverts have often been depicted as shy, easily overwhelmed, or as having poor communication skills. The notions, stereotypes, and cultural understandings of introverted individuals are discussed by Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology at George Mason University, and Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a quiet life in a noisy world. Recalling the names of some of history’s best introverted leaders, such as Nelson Mandela and Ghandi, Kashdan says that introverts hold different qualities that allow them to be less subjectable to impulses and more self-controlled, prudent, and cautious due to their lack of outward reaction. Negating the claim that introverts are typically anti-social or, “misanthropic”, Kashdan also suggests that introverts have good social skills and are very personable, they simply tire of socializing at a quicker speed than extroverts. Author Sophia Dembling goes on to say that introverts are not necessarily, “shy,” as shyness may generally be fear-motivated. Instead she claims that introverts don’t feel a pressing need to be around others, and are content with holding a conversation with someone rather than being in a crowd. Kashdan agrees with this description of introverts, stating that, “The point at which [introverts] are saturated, at which they’re reached enough satisfaction being around people is quicker than your extroverted, sociable, gregarious, highly-friendly person.” Environment is also significant when understanding social stressors for introverts. Anything from noise, to fragrance, to sound, even to the energy level in a room can cause sensitivity in introverts. However, this heightened sense of feeling proves beneficial, Kashdan assures, as introverts are exemplary observers and can read situations well from the start.

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Guests:

Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology, George Mason University, author of the book Mindfulness, Acceptance and Positive Psychology

Sophia Dembling, introvert, author of the book, The Introvert’s Way: Living a quiet life in a noisy world

Links for more information:

toddkashdan.com

The Introvert’s Way: Living a quiet life in a noisy world

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17-24 Segment 2: The Complications of Spelling English

17-24B The Complications of Spelling English

 

Although the English language is complex, irregular, and almost random, its various origins make it the perfect language for the United States: a melting pot of ethnicity, culture, and, yes, language. However, the structure of the language may prove daunting as there are many exceptions to the rules. Experts Vivian Cook, Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University, describes the complexity of the English language and provides an explanation for its bizarre quality. Originating in England with German and Scandinavian dialects in about 500 C.E., the language received French, Latin, and Dutch influence throughout the next few centuries, culminating in an elaborate collection of words. Niall McLeod Waldman, author of Spelling Dearest: The down and dirty, nitty-gritty history of English spelling, tries to describe the mess that our language appears in today. He states, “So [words] come from the way we used to sound it, or from other languages, and we just have never thought it out. Fourteen-hundred years of spelling history, we’ve never had any rules for new words, coming into English or created in English…. And that’s why we have anarchy in our spelling system.” Waldman goes on to explain that the English language is a partial reason for high illiteracy rates among English-speakers, due to the sounds in our words and their inconsistent spelling. A solution to the complication has been identified as pronouncing words as they are spelled, but even this poses problems as there are many different accents in the English language. Proficiency of the English language is considered a necessary key to success in our globalized world, but mastery requires an understanding of all of the different aspects.

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Guests:

Vivian Cook, Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University and author of Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary or Why Can’t Anybody Spell?

Niall McLeod Waldman, author of Spelling Dearest: The down and dirty, nitty-gritty history of English spelling

Links for more information:

Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary or Why Can’t Anybody Spell?

Spelling Dearest: The down and dirty, nitty-gritty history of English spelling