Welcome to another newsletter from A Way with Words, this one brought to you by way of the brown hills of Los Angeles.
This past weekend we had a great time on the air. Was it the "duck tape" vs. "duct tape" call? Was it trying to come up with a word for when something broken acts unbroken when the repairman comes around? Or was it the chorus of "ick!" that we shared with a caller who complained about the tired restaurant phrase, "Are you still working on that?" Find out:
We've got another minicast for you, too, in which Martha trots down the footpath on her way to divulging the truths and secrets about "podium" and "antipodes."
During the last week we've been at a radio conference in Hollywood in the company of some of public radio's big voices, like Melissa Block, Robert Siegel, Kai Ryssdal, Michael Feldman, John Hockenberry, Ira Glass, and many others. Trust us: Ira Glass deejaying in a bowling alley is like Coco Chanel sewing mesh half-shirts in a sweatshop.
While at the conference we had many long chats with the executives who run public radio stations around the country. They're a thoughtful bunch. It's clear that they carefully consider the content of every minute broadcast on the airwaves for which they are stewards. And it's nice to see that traditional radio is still robust and in good hands, even while it makes room for podcasting and satellite radio in its plans.
Equally interesting was meeting some of the superb new talent, like Glynn Washington of "Snap Judgment." Glynn made it to the top of heap in the "Public Radio Talent Quest" and is now working on rolling out a regular show. You can find samples of his great radio here:
Best of all, of course, was meeting some of our fans. We dig that you dig us!
Finally, a few language articles that deserve your attention:
The Times of London follows the Collins Dictionary campaign to save obscure words:
Someone in China finds out that the American dictionary they bought there has been censored:
Our pal Jan Freeman looks at the word "meltdown" in the Boston Globe:
That's all from your bicoastal buddies,
Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett