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Our Widdle Puggle-Wuggle!

Thunder and lightning! It's another email newsletter from "A Way with Words," where we put the "recess" in "recession."

In our latest broadcast we talked about "fankle," baby platypuses (as they say at Cute Overload: "Anh!"), dust bunnies, playground slides, "notorious," and the north-south equivalent of bi-coastal. Listen on the tubes:


Part two of Martha's "What the Cluck?" minicast is available. Those crazy chickens and their new-fangled language.


Because we mentioned it: have you seen the Cute Overload glossary? It's prosh!


We try to be polite and forgiving about the language mistakes of others, but as two occasional journalists, we also feel a bit of schadenfreudic glee when we see tacky ledes like these:


(A "lede" or "lead" is the opening paragraph to a news story. It's sometimes spelled "lede" to make it easier to spot when its part of an editor's notes where it might accidentally be included as if it were a part of a story.)

Cathy Curtis explains how the web made her a better copywriter. A lot of her lessons boil down to "think like a reader."


There's a new movie about language you might take a peek at. "The Carolina Brogue" is a produced by the North Carolina Language and Life Project of North Carolina State University. It's about the language and speech of the North Carolina's Inner and Outer Banks: the vowels, that drawl, those curious word choices.

The movie web site, where you can see the trailer or buy the movie:


Well we remember the "RIF: Reading is Fundamental" ads that used to be a part of every Saturday morning cartoon binge. Well, the RIF folks are still at it. They're trying to log more than five million minutes of reading with kids between April 1 and June 30. Find out how and why you should share reading with a child:



Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

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Further reading

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There are word nerds, and then there’s the woman who set up a folding chair on sidewalks throughout the country, cheerfully dispensing tips...

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Go Bananas (episode #1600)

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Beefed It (episode #1580)

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by...