Former OTM producer Mike Vuolo was reared in the bucolic wilds of New Jersey, on a neighborhood block populated entirely with Italians and Jews - including his own childhood home, which contained both. It was a time filled with exaggerated hand gestures, loving care, and hysterical worry, all now channeled productively into public radio. Mike is an alumnus of Brown University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Michael Vuolo appears in the following:
Friday, July 06, 2012
Barry Becher, co-creator of the Ginsu knife and the master of the hard sell TV pitch died recently. In memory, we are re-airing an exploration of the world of television pitchmen by erstwhile OTM producer Mike Vuolo.
Weird Al Yankovic - Mr. Popeil
Friday, June 15, 2012
Mad Men's fifth season is over. From it's start, part of the show's allure has been the way it meticulously creates Manhattan in the 1960’s. Period specific language is part of that, but verbal anachronisms sneak in with surprising frequency. In this excerpt of the Lexicon Valley podcast, Bob Garfield and former OTM producer Mike Vuolo discuss the linguistic anachronisms in Mad Men.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
As promised here are the answers to the OTM acrostic, which, when solved, reveals a quotation from technology writer James Gleick's most recent book, "The Information." And please let us know in the comments if you'd like more media-themed acrostics ripped from the pages of our current reading list.
(James) Gleick, The Information:
This is the curse of omniscience: the answer to any question may arrive at the fingertips – via Google or Wikipedia or IMDb … or Epicurious … or any of their natural heirs and successors – and still we wonder what we know.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Wow, such smart and informed comments on our language segment (and a few quibbles, which, let's be honest, are totally fair when discussing such matters). Speaking of quibblers, one of the most vocal 19th-century detractors of the then-encroaching progressive passive was a man named Richard Grant White, a Shakespeare scholar who wrote a book called, “Words and Their Uses, Past and Present.” In it, he declared that such constructions as is being done or was being built “affront the eye, torment the ear, and assault the common sense of the speaker of plain and idiomatic English.” Ouch. Here’s another good example of the esteemed passival from T.B. Macaulay’s “The History of England from the Accession of James II”:
It was much noticed that, while the foulest judicial murder which had disgraced even those times was perpetrating, a tempest burst forth, such as had not been known since that great hurricane which had raged round the death-bed of Oliver.
On another note, thanks to all who have expressed an interest in more installments of Lexicon Valley, which I'd describe as a kind of summer experiment – a fling that, with enough encouragement, could blossom into a full romance. I love talking about language and to Bob and so I thought, heck, I should talk to Bob about language. We may air one or two more short episodes on OTM and then explore ways to continue it as a podcast. Feel free to leave your suggestions here in the comments. As for now, a late lunch is preparing.
Friday, July 08, 2011
For almost seven years Mike Vuolo produced On the Media, until he left last week. Mike was a brilliant producer and a real mensch but he was also a language obsessive who wrote crossword puzzles on the side and always knew just what you meant to say and how to correctly say it. He produced a few podcasts about language before he left and in his honor we're airing one of them this week. We invite you to join us in missing Mike very much.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Calling all puzzlers! Think you know stuff? Like filling in blank squares with letters of the alphabet? Me too. And so to celebrate the redesign of On the Media's website, please enjoy this first ever OTM acrostic. Directions are simple (but the puzzle is hard!): 1. Click on the link to download the pdf. 2. Print. 3. Solve to reveal a media-themed quotation. And don’t forget to give us feedback. Click on the “Contact Us” link in the top right corner of our site and let us know if you enjoyed the puzzle and would like it to be a regular feature.
You can download the PDF by clicking the link HERE
Check back next week when we’ll post the solution. Good luck!