A Way With Words on RADIO IQ with BBC

Saturdays at 7:00 pm on RADIO IQ.
Martha Barnette, Grant Barrett

A Way With Words is a weekly, hour-long, national, caller-based program about language. Author Martha Barnette and lexicographer Grant Barrett take calls about slang, grammar, linguistic heirlooms, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well.

By looking at the world through the lens of language, A Way With Words offers a brand-new perspective on politics, pop culture, history, sports, music, science, literature, and foreign cultures.

Funny, informative, and fast-paced, each hour-long episode includes a word puzzle and slang quiz. 

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Program Headlines

  • Friday, February 27, 2015 11:45pm
    When you pick up a book of poems, how many do you read in one sitting? Some people devour several in a row, while others savor them much more slowly. Plus, it’s a problem faced by politicians and public speakers: When you have to stand in front of people, what do you do with your [...]
  • Friday, February 27, 2015 11:51am
    We all know that gesture people do, sometimes ironically, where you wipe or smack your hands together to signify that a job’s done. There’s no common term for it, but a Schenectady, New York, listener has a great suggestion: all-done clappy hands. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, February 27, 2015 11:51am
    Shrilk, a new substance made out of shrimp shells and silk, is gaining popularity as a substitute for plastic. We can still pretty much guarantee that, “One word: shrilk,” will never be a classic movie line. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, February 27, 2015 11:51am
    What’s the difference between an orchard and a grove? People plant orchards with trees meant to bear fruit or nuts, whereas groves aren’t necessarily planted. So an orange grove might be more accurately called an orange orchard. The problem is, orange orchard doesn’t sound nearly as pleasant as orange grove. This is part of a [...]
  • Friday, February 27, 2015 11:51am
    A new book called Ciao, Carpaccio!: An Infatuation, by veteran travel writer Jan Morris, celebrates the Venetian artist Carpaccio, who often used swaths of bright red in his paintings. His color choice is said to be the inspiration for beef or tuna carpaccio, slices of which are similarly deep red in the middle. This is [...]