Greetings from radioland! It's another newsletter from "A Way with Words."
This week was a brand-new episode, featuring a word quiz with *both* of our quiz guys, plus discussions of overuse of exclamation marks, bogarting, rattling your dags, pigeonholing, and more. Listen:
Last week was a moldy oldy--err, a "classic" from the "archives"--in which we "discussed" (unnecessary quote marks are fun!) flights of wine, what people call the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk, borborygmus, and more. Listen:
Perhaps this is only of interest to our British friends, but there's a bit of manufactured scandal as to whether the producers of the television program "Countdown" feed answers to lexicographer Susie Dent on the sly. We say: who cares? She's brilliant! And we wish our producer would feed us answers when the quiz guys come calling. (If we did a television show like "Countdown," we'd call it "Comeuppance." Twenty-two minutes of your hosts muttering dimly into their shirts and grinning sheepishly at the camera.)
The million-word march is a stupid public relations stunt by a man who is really selling his dubious consulting services. Let us tell you something: we have more than a million words already. The countdown is a sham.
How do we know there are more than a million words? Well, Grant has been working as part of a team on Wordnik, a brand-new online dictionary that aims to show all the information about all the words. So far, the site has accumulated more than 1.7 million words and there are many thousands more in the pipeline.
Best wishes from the language trenches (where the incoming fire is incredibly grammatical),
Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett