A Way With Words on RADIO IQ & RADIO IQ With BBC News

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

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, May 15, 2015 6:37pm
    Right off the bat, it’s easy to think of several everyday expressions that derive from America’s pastime–including “right off the bat.” The Dickson Baseball Dictionary catalogues not only those contributions but also more obscure terms like “pebble picker,” and explains why a fastball is called a “Linda Ronstadt.” Plus, as more transgender people are publicly [...]
  • Friday, May 15, 2015 11:51am
    In baseball, a pebble picker, or pebble hunter, is a fielder who picks up a pebble from the ground after a missed catch, as if to blame the pebble for his own error. In the world at large, the term is a jab at someone who can never admit a mistake. This is part of [...]
  • Friday, May 15, 2015 11:51am
    The exclamation “crime in Italy” is a variation of criminently, or criminy, both euphemisms for Christ. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, May 15, 2015 11:51am
    Every time Martha tries naming all 26 letters in the alphabet, she only comes up with 25. But she can’t remember Y. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Friday, May 15, 2015 11:51am
    The word podcasting is commonly used to refer to making podcasts, but it’s also used by some as the verb for listening to, downloading, or listening to podcasts. The language around podcasts has always been tricky since the format was released — Apple initially disliked the use of pod — and practitioners like the TWiT [...]