Welcome to the A Way with Words newsletter, where "language" is our middle name. "Dangerous" was taken.

This weekend we told you what a "trailer queen" and a "soup spitter" are, and we took a punny quiz about world capitals. Listen:


We've also posted another online-only edition of our "language headlines" minicast, containing tidbits about the latest language news and commentary from around the globe. Give it a whirl:


In our discussion forum, Fred Bals posted a link to his own "Dreamtime" podcast, which he calls "commentary on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour." He wanted to let us know that our show in which we talked about "jody cadences," those military marching songs about the mythical man who is home stealing your woman, inspired him to do an episode about them.

He's done excellent legwork to turn up old recordings and photographs of many versions of the original "Joe De Grinder" song sung by Irvin "Gar Mouth" Lowry, a prisoner at the State Farm in Arkansas, and first recorded by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax in 1939. Listen here:


At the Game Career Guide, James Portnow interviews Richard Garriott, who has invented languages for use within games. "One of the first things Garriott suggested was that spoken languages need to sound familiar. Players will not only get the rewarding experience of feeling clever if they pick up a Latinate or pseudo-Germanic phrase, but also come to the conclusion that the language is learnable, which is a big step in getting them invested in the language and thus the depth of the game."


Finally, if you can believe it, people are already thinking about the words of the year for 2008. In August! One nomination we received suggested "staycation," which is a vacation you spend at home, usually because gasoline and traveling are too expensive.

What would your "word of the year" nomination be if the vote were held today?

Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

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