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Squeejawed Red-heads and the Estival Festival

Welcome to another newsletter from A Way with Words!

This week we kicked off our online-only summer minicasts. There are *two,* one announcing the minicasts and explaining the term "estival," and another digging into the brilliant history of "candidate" and "ambition." Get them in the podcast feed or


We also re-aired a superb episode from February in which we discussed understanding spoken Old English, the playground cry of "ollie, ollie, oxen free" and its variants, and a lot of dialect words meaning "crooked" or "slanted."


We know we're not the only language show in town (we listen to at least six other kinds of language-related audio each week as we try to keep up with what our friends and colleagues are doing), so we'd like to recommend two other programs that we think are excellent members of our cohort.

Brand-new to the arena is PRIs "The World in Words," an online-only spin-off of "The World" hosted by Lisa Mullins. This podcast features substantial portions of live interviews as well as longer and more loosely edited versions of segments that have been sent out over the wireless. Hosted by steady-voiced Patrick Cox, who tends to subtle irreverence as he explains how, finally, he is able to do things in podcasts that he has not allowed to do on the air, this podcast is focused on the international aspects of language. It's a high-quality production from radio professionals. We think that Lisa sounds much better, though, in the loose-flowing interview bits than she does when she's tightly scripted and edited.


Lingua Franca from Australia's Radio National features a 15-minute essay each week from writers, editors, politicians, and commentators from around the world. They tend toward broad portraits, personal histories, and editorial opinions, somehow touching on language, literature, or communication. The quality of the essays tends to vary, but they also tend to be chosen for their thoughtfulness, to be composed with care, and to be read with emphasis on good presentation, so that even the less compelling topics are rewarding.


The A Way with Words discussion forums are alive and hopping, so drop by for a chat:


Best wishes,

Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

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