A Way With Words

Thursday at 11 am
Martha Barnette, Grant Barrett

Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette
Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette

  A Way with Words is an upbeat and lively hour-long public radio show about language examined through history, culture, and family. Co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett talk with callers from around the world about slang, grammar, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well. They settle disputes, play word quizzes, and discuss language news and controversies. The show is heard by more than a quarter-million listeners each week over the air and by podcast.

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Podcasts

  • Friday, December 12, 2014 2:03pm
    It’s time for book recommendations! Martha’s enjoying an armchair tour of important places in the history of our language, and Grant recommends relaxing with books that make great reading for both children and adults. Plus, are you the type of shopper who gets in and out of a store quickly? Or would you rather research [...]
  • Friday, December 12, 2014 9:51am
    After our episode that mentioned eponymous laws, we got a call from Darby Venza from Austin, Texas, who came up with this bit of wisdom, otherwise known as Venza’s Razor: Whenever a garden hose or extension cord can catch on something, it will. True that. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, December 12, 2014 9:51am
    Martha Barnette gets a call from Martha Barnett, her Canadian tocaya who’s missing an “e” at the end of her last name. On the Global News website, you can see that the name Martha, perhaps now an anomaly in Canada, peaked in popularity around the late 1950s. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, December 12, 2014 9:51am
    The French have a musical term for paperclip. They call it le trombone. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, December 12, 2014 9:51am
    The word hoodlum first pops up in the 1870’s in San Francisco to refer to the exact thing it does now: guys who are up to no good. In the journal Notes and Queries, you’ll find all kinds of discussion on hoodlum. This is part of a complete episode.