A Way With Words on WBAA News

Sundays at 12pm

"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.

If you speak English -- or if you're trying to learn it -- within a few minutes of listening to this show you'll find something that pulls you in. Our listeners come from all walks of life: in nearly a decade on the air, we've heard from rocket scientists to physicians, from spelling-bee champs to retirees, from Gen-X cartoonists to fishmongers. Well, at least fishmonger, who wanted to know what -monger is doing in the name of his occupation.

Beyond this broad audience that tunes in for general entertainment and information, "A Way with Words" has a growing and fiercely loyal core audience of self-described word lovers, including experienced and aspiring writers and editors; office workers and degreed professionals; learners of English as a first or supplementary language; linguistic dilettantes; word history buffs; students of all ages; teachers at all levels; lovers of wordplay; Scrabble players and crossword puzzlers; dictionary browsers; and late-blooming or late-life learners trying to catch up on what they missed or have forgotten of their formal education.

The common thread is that these listeners keep tuning in week after week because "A Way with Words" addresses precisely the core values that devoted public-radio audiences share: a lively curiosity, an appreciation of thoughtful conversation that's well-informed and stimulating, and a healthy sense of humor.