Our most recent episode is a favorite archive edition: "A Roberta of Flax," with funny collective nouns for plants, plus the game "Telephone," the use of "whenever" with reference to a one-time event, and how Shakespeare's language sounded in his day. Behold:
Many of you sent us more funny collective plant nouns. Jas Williams sent us dozens, including "a mnemonic of forget-me-nots" and "a break of day lilies." Ren Willis-Frances added "a silence of mums." Love those!
Remember the recent dustup over on the BBC's site, where a UK journalist lamented the "Americanization" of British English? He hit a nerve -- the essay had more than 3 million page views! The BBC turned to Grant for a response from this side of the Atlantic. His riposte, also widely read and commented upon, is here:
Children needn't learn cursive writing any more. That's the contention, at least, of a growing number of educators. A surprising recent discussion on "The Diane Rehm Show":
If you're bedeviled each week by The New York Times' Sunday crossword, you'll enjoy this short interview with one of your chief tormentors, puzzle constructor Brendan Emmett Quigley:
Congrats to our friends at Studio West, where we record "A Way with Words," who are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Originally a music studio, their business is thriving. Their secret? Diversifying to include sound production for video games, Hollywood films, and TV. Their diverse client list includes Queen Latifah, Patti Smith, Mitt Romney -- oh, and a couple of word nerds.
BEHIND THE SCENES: A big "Thank you!" to all who responded to our e-fundraising campaign this week. Your support helps us record new episodes. We're in the process of doing so right now!
If you meant to donate but forgot, not to worry. We still welcome your contributions in any amount:
Our Federal tax ID is #27-0277377, and if your employer has a matching gift program, be sure to let 'em know.
Or pop a check in the mail to:
P.O. Box 632721
San Diego, CA 92163
By the way, some of you asked about Wayword, Inc., the educational nonprofit that produces and distributes the show.
We're proud to say you can find out all you'd ever want to know about Wayword through our "Better Giving Profile." It's online at the San Diego Foundation, in partnership with Guidestar.org.
Many donors like to study up on exactly where their money goes these days -- with good reason. The Better Giving profile shows our finances, management, educational mission, organizational history, and more.
We believe strongly in such transparency, so you can see where your money goes and why.
Have a look if you like, and let us know your thoughts!
Martha and Grant