One West Virginia University professor is teaching producers of a new HBO miniseries all about language in the 1800s — including swearing. Kirk Hazen, professor of linguistics in the Department of English, is serving as a linguistic consultant for the miniseries that focuses on the Lewis and Clark expedition and is produced by actors Tom Hanks, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. As a well-respected linguist, Hazen has been called upon to analyze speech in an ISIS execution video, a cold case murder trial and a newspaper defamation case. As of this spring, he can add HBO consultant to that list.
Follow Hazen, author of “An Introduction to Language” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), on Twitter @DrDialect.