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As part of a series on the state of our public discourse, we turned to well-known professor of linguistics and Fresh Air commentator Geoffrey Nunberg for some insight into the way we talk about politics — and the way politicians talk. Nunberg is the author of The Way We Talk Now (2004), Talking Right (2007), The Years of Talking Dangerously (2009) and Ascent of the A-Word (2012), which prominently featured Donald Trump. 'The time was when there was distance between public and private discourse that was enormous. Politicians gave speeches to crowds. People talked about those issues among themselves. And those two discourses were very much distinct. We don’t really know what people were saying to one another. Now those lines have become blurred, not just in public discourse but in every form of discourse.'