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The Language of the Pandemic

Professor Tanya Byron examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum.

Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum. Since the outbreak of coronavirus we have had to adopt a new way of talking about life during a pandemic. We've been 'shielding' and 'socially distancing'. Some of us have been 'furloughed'. We've been dismayed by the irresponsible behaviour of 'covidiots' and tried to avoid too much 'doom scrolling'. But has communication about the virus been clear and effective enough? Medical historian Mark Honigsbaum in his book The Pandemic Century - 100 years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris - argues that words matter and that we should learn the lessons of previous pandemics from Spanish Flu to Ebola.

Producer: Maggie Ayre

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28 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Tue 14 Jul 2020 16:00
  • Mon 20 Jul 2020 23:00

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