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Persuasion

Ian McMillan examines the language of persuasion with guests including linguist David Crystal. Plus academic James Garvey discussing his book The Persuaders.

Ian McMillan's cabaret of the word examines the language of persuasion with guests including the linguist David Crystal, whose new book 'Gift of the Gab' (Yale) examines eloquence from pitch, pace, and prosody to jokes and appropriateness.

We also hear from academic James Garvey on his new book 'The Persuaders'.

Producer: Cecile Wright.

45 minutes

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James Garvey

James Garvey

Why do we think what we think? James Garvey’s book ‘The Persuaders’ (Icon) uncovers the ways in which our thinking might have been influenced without us knowing it. We’ve asked James to take a closer look at the role of language in changing our minds, particularly the way using metaphors can make us ‘think in a certain direction’. For James, knowledge is power – if we are aware that manipulative techniques are being used we can guard against them.

 

James Garvey

David Crystal

David Crystal

The Linguist David Crystal’s new book ‘The Gift of the Gab’ (Yale) is an examination of eloquence. From narrative to rhythm, and using Barack Obama’s 2008 election Victory speech as a guide, David shows us what tricks eloquent people use to make themselves memorable, likeable and above all listened to.

 

David Crystal

Gregory Pardlo

Gregory Pardlo

The poet Gregory Pardlo won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection ‘Digest’ (Four Way), a book that focuses on the contemporary urban experience but is steeped in history. Gregory believes that poetry is designed to attempt a more honest awareness of how we frame our ideas.

 

Gregory Pardlo

Nancy Kerr

Nancy Kerr

The Sweet Liberties project, commissioned by the English Folk Dance and Song Society and Folk by the Oak invited Nancy Kerr, along with the songwriters Martyn Joseph, Sam Carter, and Maz O’Connor to compose new music celebrating the rights and liberties that we have fought for in the 800 years since Magna Carta. Nancy performs her song ‘Kingdom’. For Nancy, the language of folk has been filtered through history and society, leaving it with a distilled vocabulary of universial terms which she uses to link the past to the present.

 

Nancy Kerr

Peggy Seeger

Peggy Seeger

For Peggy Seeger, a protest song shouldn’t need to hammer an idea at us, because we will not listen. Instead, protest songs should use questions, rhythm and narrative which allow the listener space to think. Peggy shows these skills in a performance of her powerful song ‘Right to Life’. Peggy’s latest album is ‘Everything Changes’ (Signet)

 

Peggy Seeger

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