Home » Newsletter » Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Greetings, oh wordy ones!

We're on vacation, so this past weekend's broadcast was a repeat--uh, "encore presentation"--that originally aired December 2nd and 3rd. It's the one in which we geek-out over FreeRice.com. If you missed it, find it here:


Here are a few treats for you from the forums:


We're a big fan of librarians (those glasses! that shushing! the thump-thump-thump of the rubber stamp!), so the blog "Love the Liberry" is a pleasant find, even if it makes us sigh by revealing the bland ignorance of some people. Apparently working at a library's reference desk can involve blood more than twice a day.


Artist Doug Boehm has made some cool illustrations for the office-related terms "prairie-dogging," "low-hanging fruit," and others. He's got a style that's a cross between ancient Egyptian murals, the satirical French television show "Les Guignols de l'Info," and palimpsests at the British Museum. See Doug's work here:


What if you were allowed to cheat at Scrabble for the benefit of charity? That's what the organization 826NYC is propoosing. The more you pay, the more you can cheat. Buy a vowel for $50, added a q, x, z to any word for $250, and for $500 you can invent any word you want, with a definition. 826NYC will use the money donated at its even January 19th to support its children's programs that stimulate their creative and expository writing skills.


Finally, we'll leave you with our resolutions for the New Year:

1. We, Martha and Grant, resolve to hold our writing and speaking to a high standard while forgiving and forgetting the mistakes in the language of others.

2. We resolve to accept that we will make mistakes, too, and we resolve to learn from them and to learn to live with them.

3. We resolve to learn something new every day.

4. We resolve to change our opinions in light of new evidence that shows our opinions are wrong.

5. We resolve to read no more than three books in a single sitting, except if they're really good.

6. Grant resolves to stop goading Martha into laughter right before they go live on the air.

7. Martha resolves to stop calling Grant "whippersnapper" every time he says we should overturn long-standing language beliefs.

8. Grant resolves to snag Greg Pliska's answer sheets and share them with Martha.

9. Martha resolves to stop mocking New York City weather as she sits in the San Diego sun, drinks slushy drinks, and rocks her shorts and flip-flops.

10. Grant resolves to stop asking Martha, "Now, where exactly is the San Diego? Is that a taqueria in Hoboken?"

Best wishes for the new year from your radio pals,

Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further reading

Animal Crackers (episode #1636)

Images of birds flutter inside lots of English words and phrases, from “nest egg” and “pecking order,” to proverbs from around the world—including a lovely Spanish saying about how birds sense light just before dawn. Plus...

Completely Comprehensible Vague Language

Monica in Burlington, Vermont, says a friend recently told her that her day became kerfunkulated, and Monica knew what she meant without even asking. Why do we successfully infer the meaning of such words? Placeholder words such as thingamajiggy...