Word for Word #22 Forensic linguistics, crime & punishment

Nov 07, 2018
Image of a book with pages flipping and text: 22 Forensic linguistics, crime and punishment

When it comes to bugging a suspect, re-interpreting a dusty statute, or presenting evidence in a criminal trial, the shifting tides of language draw the law with them. In this episode, forensic linguist Helen Fraser tests our ear-witness fallibility with speech evidence from a real-life murder case. Plus, the Macquarie team remembers that time they had to investigate a ransom note.

Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.

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Additional links

Read more on the topics and people featured in this week's episode:

Black Hands - A family mass murder


On the Macquarie Dictionary blog:

#4 Darn & blast - Word for Word podcast episode

Thieves and scoundrels



Word for Word is produced by Kate Sherington for Macquarie Dictionary and Pan Macmillan Australia.

Many thanks in this episode are due to Dr Helen Fraser. Visit Helen's website at helenfraser.com.au

Thanks also to Stuff.co.nz for permission to use audio from the "Black Hands" podcast.

All sound effects and clips are public domain, royalty-free, or used by permission.

Music used in this episode is by Broke For Free, available from the Free Music Archive and used by permission of the artist. Find more music by Broke for Free including The Gold Lining; and If.

Our logo is by Amy Sherington.

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