In a Manner of Speaking

Here you will find an archive of Paul’s monthly In a Manner of Speaking podcasts, which he began in February 2018. Each podcast will tackle a different topic related to the spoken word. Some of the topics you have to look forward to in the coming months include idiolects, news reading, pragmatics, code-switching, and dialect clichés and stereotypes.

Paul will also invite various guests to his podcast to discuss an array of subjects. For instance, the podcasts have already featured renowned linguist David Crystal, along with indigenous-speech expert Eric Armstrong and Audie Award-winning audiobook narrators Tavia Gilbert and Julia Whelan.

An RSS feed is available on this website, in the widget section on the right (or at the bottom of the page on mobile devices). The podcasts are also available on iTunes.


February 2018: Podcast #1


This first podcast focuses on Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation (the dialect of English spoken in the late 16th and early 17th century). It also serves as an introduction to the entire In a Manner of Speaking series, as Paul briefly touches on several topics of upcoming podcasts. For more information about the Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s upcoming production of Twelfth Night, visit the site. And here is the Original Pronunciation text that Paul references:

If music be the food of love, play on
ɪf mju̹ːzɪk beː ðə fu̹ːd ə lɤv ple ɑːn

Give me excess of it, that surfeiting,
gɪ mɪ ɪksɛs əv ɪt ðət sɐ˞fətɪn

The appetite may sicken and so die.
ðɪ apətəit mɛ sɪkn̩ n̩ so dəi

That strain again! It had a dying fall.
ðat stɹɛːn əgɛn ɪt ad ə dəiɪn fɑːɫ

O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
o ɪt kɛː oə˞ mɪ i˞ ləik ðə sweːt səʊnd

That breathes upon a bank of violets.
ðət bɹeːðz əpɑn ə baŋk ə vəiəlɪts

[Duke Orsino,  Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene 1]


March 2018: Podcast #2


Julia Whelan
Tavia Gilbert

In this month’s podcast, Paul discusses the art of audiobook narration with industry leaders Tavia Gilbert and Julia Whelan. Find Julia’s work on here and Tavia’s at this link. My Oxford Year will be published in April and released on Audible on April 24; see this link. See this link for details of Be Frank with Me.



April 2018: Podcast #3


Eric Armstrong
Sera-Lys McArthur

In this episode, Paul talks with guests Sera-Lys McArthur (a mixed-race Canadian actress) and Eric Armstrong (professor of theatre at York University in Toronto). While the speech of indigenous people (particularly those of North America) is the broad topic, Eric and Paul also talk at length about the politics and ethics of dialect work in theatre and film, and of the gathering of dialect samples from indigenous speech donors. You will hear a clip from Sera-Lys McArthur’s miniseries, The Englishman’s Boy. The text and translation of the Nakota speech you will hear in that clip is as follows:

Eeneedukabee hay. Weebazoga yuka kyana.
Are you hungry? There are Saskatoon berry bushes nearby.

Hee, owa-yagay washtay
Oh, that is very pretty!

Duka wakta, weebazoga oda nuda shten nee-‘ray neeyazakta
Be careful: if you eat too many Saskatoon berries, your stomach will really hurt.

And for more information on this topic, you might check out a new short film titled To Wake Up the Nakota Language. Described as “a tender portrait of Armand McArthur, the last fluent speaker of the Nakota language in Pheasant Rump First Nation, Treaty 4 territory in southern Saskatchewan,” the film is playing the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in May.


May 2018: Podcast #4


Cameron Meier

Paul’s special guest this month is Cameron Meier, Executive Editor of IDEA, Vice President of Paul Meier Dialect Services, journalist (see, and Paul’s son.  Paul and Cameron discuss the art of the newscaster and the values of broadcast journalism while listening to clips from famous newscasters.



June 2018: Podcast #5


David Crystal

Paul’s guest this month is David Crystal, one of the world’s most famous linguists and the leader of the modern movement we call OP: Original Pronunciation of Shakespeare’s works. David explains the fascinating linguistic subfield called Pragmatics, which he defines as the “study of the choices that you make when you use language, the reasons for those choices, and the effects that the choices convey.” See David’s websites:,, and



July 2018: Podcast #6


In this episode, Paul leads the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Paul gives insights into the founding of IDEA back in 1998, and we hear from a few people who have had a large role to play in the archive’s success over the last two decades.


August 2018: Podcast #7


In this episode, Paul asks why native English speakers across most ethnicities and cultures are apparently addicted to two-syllable names for their children, names with the accent on the first syllable. Why are names like Mary and David at the top of the list and not Celeste and Emil?



September 2018: Podcast # 8


This month is all about phonetics and spelling. Paul offers up a provocative thought experiment that floats the idea of reforming our everyday spelling, replacing it with the International Phonetic Alphabet. Download the accompanying PDF document here. This document is not just a full transcript of this month’s podcast, but also a guide to the phonetics.



October 2018: Podcast #9


Jim Johnson

This month’s guest is Jim Johnson, who is an IDEA associate editor, a professor and director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance, and founder of AccentHelp. Paul and Jim talk about dialects and accents, dialect-sample gathering, dialects on stage and in film, and accents and dialects in life.


November 2018: Podcast #10


Paul’s musings this month start with the old adage “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it,” and take off from there to cover sacred texts, profane politicians, and pumped-up actors.


December 2018: Podcast #11

Amy Stoller

Tune in next month when Paul will talk to Amy Stoller about idiolects. Amy is an IDEA associate editor, renowned dialect coach, and creator of the Stoller System.




Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing, and nametag image created by Omelchenko Andrii.