A Way with Words

Series produced by A Way with Words

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A Way with Words is a national, lively, hour-long public radio show about language, on the air since 1998. Author/journalist Martha Barnette and linguist/lexicographer Grant Barrett take listener calls about slang, grammar, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well. There are no carriage fees.

Learn more about the show, its hosts, and its history, and read station and listener testimonials on the A Way with Words website.


207 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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According to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, it's important to master the basics of writing, but there comes a time when you have to strike out on y...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, KTSW 89.9, WSLR, WNJR and more


  • Added: Apr 02, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
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Ever wonder whatever happened to responding to "Thank you" with the words "You're welcome"? A listener asks why so many radio interviews end with t...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, WUFT, KTSW 89.9, WSLR and more


  • Added: Mar 27, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
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What's in a mascot name? Maybe you're a fan of the Banana Slugs, or you cheer for the Winged Beavers. Perhaps your loyalty lies with the Fighting A...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, KTSW 89.9, WSLR, KNVC Carson City Community Radio and more


  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
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This week on "A Way with Words": Slang from the 19th century. The slang coming out of Victorian mouths was more colorful than you might think. A 19...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, KTSW 89.9, WSLR, WYAP and more


  • Added: Mar 12, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
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The highly specialized vocabulary of people who work outdoors, like farmers and fishermen, can bring us closer to the natural world. Also, a woman ...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, KTSW 89.9, WSLR, KNVC Carson City Community Radio and more


  • Added: Mar 06, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
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The stories behind symbols and expressions around the world. The peace symbol popular during 1960's antiwar demonstrations had been around for deca...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, WSLR, KTSW 89.9, KNVC Carson City Community Radio and more


  • Added: Feb 26, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
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Our youngest listeners have questions about everything from love to one of their favorite foods. Kids ask why we might end a text with the letters ...

Bought by KQRU FM LP, Tri States Public Radio, KMXT, 90.1 WFYI Public Radio, KXCR and more


  • Added: Aug 30, 2017
  • Length: 29:45
  • Purchases: 8