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Blue Bark Mystery; Words of the Year; New Shows!


In this week's podcast, a caller asks a delicate question about “blue bark shipment,” an expression involving the transport of deceased members of the military. Martha and Grant discuss the challenge of tracking down its origins and then put out a call to listeners. Do you know the origin of the term? Let us know!


We're coming up on "word of the year" season. Two dictionary-makers have already announced theirs. Webster's New World College Dictionary chose "grass station," a refueling place for automobiles that run on biofuels, and the New Oxford American Dictionary team chose "localvore" or "locavore," variant spellings for a person who tries to eat food that is produced close to their home. What's your word of the year candidate? Let us know in our discussion forum:


We can absolutely confirm for you: brand-new one-hour shows will be aired the weekend of November 24th and 25th. Spread the word!

We're also giving the web site a bit of a refresh, so look for an easy-to-read revamping in the next couple of weeks.


Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

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Further reading

Sleeve Island (episode #1637)

Language from inside a monastery. A Benedictine monk shares terms from his world: For example, corporate prayer refers to praying as a group, not urging shares to return dividends. And did you know there’s a term of art for those annoying add...

Walkie Talkie (episode #1541)

One of the most powerful words you’ll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn’t in dictionaries yet. But it probably will be one day. The word is endling, and it means “the last surviving member of a species.” The...

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