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The protagonist in ‘Sorry to Bother You’ code switches for professional success. So why—and when—do you do it?




Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green and Danny Glover as Langston star in Boots Riley's SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, an Annapurna Pictures release.
Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green and Danny Glover as Langston star in Boots Riley's SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, an Annapurna Pictures release.
Peter Prato / Annapurna Pictures

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In the film, “Sorry to Bother You,” a black telemarketer in Oakland (played by Lakeith Stanfield) discovers the key to professional success is to speak with his clients in his so-called “white voice.”

The practice is as known as code switching in the field of linguistics. Using the film as a point of departure, AirTalks want to know why—and when—do you code switch?

Call us at 866 893 5722 to join the conversation.

With guest host Libby Denkmann

Guest:

John Baugh, professor of linguistics at Washington University in St. Louis