The word for ‘ghostwriter’ in French is a racist slur. How did THAT come about? And what word could French-speakers use instead? Ngofeen Mputubwele and Gregory Warner investigate. This piece originally aired on NPR’s Rough Translation; hear their new season at npr.org and on your pod app.
Content note: the piece is about, and therefore contains, offensive terms. And towards the end of the episode, in the Minillusionist, I get into the racist violent etymology of the word ‘bulldozer’.
Find more information about these topics and guests at theallusionist.org/ghostwriter.
The Allusionist music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s songs at palebirdmusic.com or on Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. He also composed the music for the new kids’ science podcast Maddie’s Sound Explorers.
This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Bombas socks, thoughtfully engineered for comfort and durability - and for every pair of socks you buy, Bombas donates a pair to someone in need. Get twenty percent off your first purchase at Bombas.com/allusionist.
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.