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. 

Composer ID: 

Program Headlines

  • Sunday, December 21, 2014 9:04am
    Dear friends and listeners, As we near the end of our biggest year yet, we must raise $75,000 before 11:59 PM, December 31st. Reaching that goal will mean covering fixed costs: Broadcast studio rental. A sound engineer and board operator. Website hosting. Podcast hosting. The toll-free phone line. Episode distribution through the Public Radio Satellite [...]
  • Friday, December 12, 2014 4:03pm
    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 11:51am
    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 11:51am
    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 11:51am
    The French have a musical term for paperclip. They call it le trombone. This is part of a complete episode.