Earlier this year in the run up to the primary election, political analysts explained that Florida really isn't a Southern state anymore and would not vote the same way as Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia. Then the shooting death of Trayvon Martin prompted some to argue that nothing's changed in a part of the state steeped in racial violence. In a way, both statements hold up.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And we turn, now, to the death of Trayvon Martin and how this story has been covered by the mainstream news outlets and by the blogs, and Twitter feeds, and talk shows and cable television stations that now make up a big part of the media.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including extreme rivalries in sports, those living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the legacy of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summit.
Linguist David Crystal describes English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language." Speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy, and simply make up other terms.
In his new book, he tells The Story of English in 100 Words, using a collection of words — classic ones like "tea" and new words like "app" — that explain how the the English language has evolved.
Crystal thinks every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and."
At least 70 countries, including the U.S., pledged millions of dollars in aid to the Syrian opposition. U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has set a deadline of April 10 for compliance with the U.N. peace plan. Some analysts believe it's too late for peaceful negotiations.