Hello, Goodbye

Steve Jobs’ last words were: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” Oscar Wilde went with: “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” (At least, that’s how the story goes.) But the way most of us part company with language at the end of our lives is more halting and gradual. Even when a dying loved one is unable to speak clearly, other forms of communication often take over: noises, gestures, touch and eye contact.

We have stories in this episode from a hospice nurse, from journalists covering mental health and internet culture, and from language writer Michael Erard who is writing a book about last words and their relationship to first words.

Photo by Duncan C via Flickr/Creative Commons. Music by Dream Cave, Nylonia, Alexandra Woodward, Cobby Costa, August Wilhelmsson, David Celeste, Martin Landstrom, Gavin Luke, Rand Also, Airae, Alan Ellis, Jules Gaia. Read a transcript of this episode here. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

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Episode 49