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A Way with Words

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A Way with Words is an upbeat and lively hour-long public radio show and podcast about language examined through history, culture, and family. Each week, author/journalist Martha Barnette and lexicographer/linguist Grant Barrett talk with callers about slang, old sayings, new words, grammar, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well. They settle disputes, play word quizzes, and discuss language news and controversies. The show, on the air since 1998, is heard weekly by more than a half-million listeners over the air in 33 states and around the world by podcast. The show is produced by Wayword, Inc., a small independent nonprofit unaffiliated with any station or network.

Co-host/co-producer Martha Barnette is the author of reader-friendly books on word origins. She has a background in ancient Greek and Latin, studied Spanish in Costa Rica, and worked as a newspaper reporter for major metropolitan dailies. Raised in the South, she now lives in San Diego, where she's often found hiking mountain trails and performing with an improv comedy troupe.

Co-host/co-producer Grant Barrett is an American lexicographer and linguist specializing in slang and new words. He has helped produce dozens of dictionaries. He's a voracious reader, speaks a bit of French and Spanish, and spent years working in the jargon-rich jungles of information technology. Though born and raised in Missouri, and having been a long-time resident of New York City, Grant now lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, also a linguist and lexicographer, and their young son. 

Learn more about A Way with Words on their website.


Listen to the A Way with Words clip about Wisconsin:

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Events at Wisconsin Union Theater

April 25th | 8pm
ETHEL and Robert Mirabal

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May 2nd | 8pm
Kyoko Oyobe Quartet

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June 21st | 7:30 pm
Four Seasons Theatre presents Disney's "The Little Mermaid"

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Wisconsin Union Theater