Hey, all, it’s Martha and Grant, hosts of the public radio show A Way with Words. We have sooper sekrit plans! Find out more about what’s happening with the radio show by joining the AWWW email list. It’s an announcement list, so you’ll get only occasional messages from us: previews of new episodes, book give-aways, and, of course, updates about changes to the show.

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  1. robert goldstein says:

    Grant and Martha,

    Your show is the greatest! We recently decided to spend our summers in NW Montana but can’t find your show here so we’ll have to wait until we return to San Diego in late Sept.

    We love it when Richard Lederer makes occasional guest appearances. Please encourage him to return. We also were quite fond of Charles Elster and would also love it if he made occasional guest appearances on your show (if he isn’t persona non gratis with the powers that be).

    Thanks for imparting your knowledge to us — it is greatly appreciated.

    Robert Goldstein
    858 847-6710

  2. Bill Spencer says:

    Love the pun for your new site. Much more fun that the pun of the radio show title! And, how appropriate to start off wayword radio with a discussion of sexual (plant) reproduction!

    Can’t wait ’til summer is over, site is fully up, show back on. And Robert is right — it’s always great when Richard return, and it will be a great day when Charlie can be a guest as well.

    All the best,

  3. George Brolaski says:

    What is going to happen to the show? I heard on kpbs this morning that the show was canceled? If they had to cancel something, why didn’t they cancel that stupid Car Talk? I have listened to your show for years and its better than ever now that Grant is on instead of Richard. I am so upset about it. Are you still going to have the podcast?
    George Brolaski

  4. George, as we speak we’re working to get the show picked up by another broadcast outlet. The podcasts probably will only continue if the whole show continues.

  5. George Brolaski says:

    I certainly hope that you can get the show picked up. I listened to Tom Fudge interview someone,(I forget his name), and the reason for the cancellation seemed to be purely financial, not quality. Is that guy a Bush appointee? I want to give him a piece of my mind. How do I do it?

  6. Marc Naimark says:


    While we greatly enjoy Grant and Martha, there is no call for denigrating Richard, who was also delightful (and Charles for that matter). Each of the hosts I’ve heard on AWWW has brought something to the show. But of course I do hope that Grant and Martha will find a new home on the air.

  7. Loretta McNeely says:

    To the sponsors of this show: Please keep AWWW going! From Richard and Charles, to Richard and Martha, to Martha and Grant – the show is unique and a delight. I confess I always resent the newest replacement and mourn the loss of my old friend, for about 5 minutes, and then I come to relish each new contributor. Thank you for fresh and fun programming.

  8. Arthur Salazar says:

    It is a sad day. AWWW was a part of each week for me as I listened on PodCast. I hope that you find a new home and are back on the air in no time.

    Thank you both for many hours of listening and learning about words and language.


  9. Robert Sunbury says:

    This the only show that teaches us about our culture, We learn history, English and communication all at the same time. America need more programs like this not less

  10. Donald Yeckel says:

    I rarely listened to AWWW live or rebroadcast on the radio, because the time never seemed convenient. After I discovered the podcast version, I never missed a show; listening to the podcasts on my Nano while I garden has been the perfect combination. I very much hope you will be able to put together a new program, and I promise to listen, but only if the new show is podcast!

  11. Jim Gardner says:

    Bummer! I will miss hearing you guys on Saturdays and Sundays. I hope your show continues somewhere!

  12. Windy Bravo says:

    Attention: Martha Barnett and Grant Barrett. Really angry to see Away with Words cut loose. My response to this latest decision in the downgrading of public radio content:

    Memo: KPBS

    Put it off onto your cowardice. AWWW is the tip of your ugly iceberg. As a collective force, you’ve engineered the blandification of KPBS’s formerly sterling programming into pure flatulence. Now Away with Words is under the gun? What’s your problem?

    You failed to recognize public radio’s structural integrity. You could have built on it, instead you ripped it up wholesale and are turning it into a lackluster audio magazine. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

    Instead of an intellectual yar craft KPBS is becoming a rudderless ship floundering in the doldrums. Shame on you!

    Hatchetmen – Pull KPBS programming back from the rocks now!

    Public radio’s role is to counterpoint hellish depersonalizing media bombardment with community-building, authority questioning,zany, mysterious, small-town, big city, touching, thinky, slow and brilliant confabulations. Puzzles, comedy skits, how-to’s, cosmopolitan buzz, intellectual tid-bits and pig bladders. A Way with Words is for thinkers. Those thinkers are your supporters. KPBS is set apart because it addresses an erudite audience. Stay with the game plan.

    Keep A Way with Words! Keep intelligent programs!

    Wake Up! Public radio’s job is to peak our curiosity, tease our brains, pull our heartstrings and tickle our bellies. Radio is a sensual and intellectual medium. Quit bludgeoning your broadcasting niche into oblivion!

    Stop the ghettoization of KPBS into the zombie broadcast media mainstream! Quit pandering to the taste of talentless numbers crunchers!

    And while you’re at it – PUT TEETH BACK IN THE NEWS!!


    Windy Bravo

  13. D’oh! I do so look forward to the podcasts; I’m in rural northern California. Fun, witty and informative, what’s not to like? I was expecting the show to be picked up by more stations, not canceled!

    I’m sorry, but I’d like to be alone now.

  14. richard lustig says:

    WENDY said it all, and without the polite reserve of many whose Posts preceded hers.
    Public Radio/ podcasts are the last refuge of the American Intellectually curious listener, and WWW has been, and should continue to be, a gem in the crown of authentic Public Broadcasting that KPBS surely aspires to(sic).-LOL

    Please, PBS, don’t reincarnate the last line of Hamlet. One tragic loss is

  15. Hank Klein says:

    I have been interested in words ever since I took Greek and Latin in high school in the 60’s and got a taste of English word origins. So our show was one of my favorites on the internet. I have pledged in support of it. I am disappointed that KPBS decided to cancel it, but I am happy that you are trying to continue. I also love Martha’s voice.

  16. Brian Stoll says:

    Your summer shows have been great! I especially enjoyed the DSNA open mic show. Thank you, and i’m happy to hear you will be continuing the show!
    Upstate NY

  17. Anne Wilson says:

    I am very sad to hear that KPBS has terminated A Way with Words. I love the show. Perhaps I am a word nerd; well clearly I am. I have always thought this show would run well in NY, Boston, and other cities. I don’t think you ever got much support from KPBS. I guess I will become a podcast member….new technology.

    Keep building your base.
    Language matters.

  18. Mahashakti [Charmian O'Brien] says:

    Dear Martha and Grant,
    Listening to A Way With Words has been a great delight, even the intro music was joyful. It is disappointing that the show has been cancelled, but it seems like there is a positive mood and you will still be heard regularly, on podcast I hope. I am an Australian living in India, so hearing the english language like this wonderful. I love your humour, Martha, and your great intelligence, and Grant’s very smart and a great wit. Richard is awesome with words. I only started tuning in at the tail end of his time with AWWW.

  19. Lara says:

    I just heard my first episode of your show on Sunday. When I looked it up on the web and saw that the show had been cancelled I was terribly disappointed. I am looking forward to more. Please keep Louisville, KY in mind when planning the future.

  20. martha says:

    Hi, Lara — Thanks for the kind words — and fear not! We’re hard at work behind the scenes to make sure our broadcast listeners don’t have any “interruption of service.”

    And you betcher Hot Brown we love our WFPL listeners!

    — Martha, proud former resident of Crescent Hill

  21. lzuber says:

    Martha, Proud former resident of Cresent Hill – Hot Browns are one of my favorite foods! My mom makes them every year for me for my birthday. Now, where does that name, “Hot Brown”, come from? Everyone says The Brown Hotel. Are they correct?
    – Lara, proud current resident of Crescent Hill

  22. martha says:

    Yup, Lara, that cholesterol-choked delicacy was indeed invented at the Brown.

    Of course, my taste runs more to the kind of thing I’d find on Frankfort Avenue, like an El Mundo quesadilla. And I could use a cup of Java Brewing coffee right now.

  23. P. Pollard says:

    Oh well, too bad for KPBS. I’ve been listening to the podcast version of your show ever since it became available. Your show would be peachy for a national audience and now I hope you get more far reaching air, and soon!

  24. Cynthia Romaker says:

    Regarding your request for coining new terms, I called a few months ago about a term that my son came up with. He is 14 now, but he came up with this term several years ago, which is “China divorce.” We were talking about someone we knew who was getting divorced, and he asked me, “Are they having a China divorce?” I was completely stumped and asked him what he meant by that (he couldn’t have been more than 11 at the time. He said: “You know, the kind where they throw dishes at each other.” I am happy to say that my husband and I do NOT have the kind of relationship that involves violence of any type (!), but I was amazed that he had apparently come up with this term completely on his own to describe what he had come to understand as a volatile/difficult/fractious split-up.

    In fact, a couple of years after this term “China divorce” became commonplace in our house (as a joke), I actually rented the movie “War of the Roses” to show him what a China divorce REALLY looks like! By then, at age 13, I felt he was ready for it. Sad . . . but still a good term in my mind. In completely conjures up the nature of a nasty divorce but I also like the sort of weird way that it catches you off=-guard because of the Asian reference, when in fact, it has nothing to do with anything Asian!

  25. K Zethmayr says:

    Wish I had a media monopoly (well, maybe I don’t) to be able to snap up your show.

  26. martha says:

    Wow — that’s picturesque, Cynthia — very creative kid you have there!

  27. Daña says:

    AWWW is an oasis of punsanity in a world gone mad. I’m delighted you’ll find a way to continue to tickle our funny-brains (ok, does anyone get that that’s a takeoff on funny-bones? or has it been just too long a week?).

    And all that earlier talk of Hot Browns and Crescent Hill is makin me homesick for Louavul!

  28. Edm says:

    I wrote before, ignored, that if you were really interested in words, you would be using and promoting “There’s A Word For It” by Charles Elster, with all the apt, appropriate, uncommon, 19th century and later forgotten choice words. Don’t be limacine snarge; get the unique glossary.

  29. RUTH HOHBERG says:

    i’m delighted you’ll be staying on the station. it’s a breath of fresh air to hear your program.

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