How Do We Know What Words Mean? with Jessica Rett

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness #83 November 20, 2018

Dr. Jessica Rett is an Associate Professor in UCLA’s Linguistics Department who joins Jonathan to discuss the power & nuances of words, breaks down the concepts of what “dog whistles” are, code-switching, how words evolve, endangered languages, and more.


Find Jessica’s work at

A great podcast about linguistics:

A website dedicated to linguistics:

Information to help save endangered languages:

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Jonathan is on Instagram @JVN. Also Twitter and Facebook.

Catch Jonathan on Queer Eye streaming now on Netflix.


This episode is sponsored by Boy Erased (, Ulta Beauty (, SeatGeek (code: JVN), Pluto Pillow ( code: CURIOUS), and Bombas ( code: JVN).

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