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How to Address the President

How should news organizations refer to elected officials, past and present? There’s not much consensus among print and broadcast companies, but most organizations have their own set of rules. For example, NPR’s policy is to refer to the...

Puns in the Headlines

When President Barack Obama had the Oval Office redecorated in soft browns and beige, The New York Times headline read: “The Audacity of Taupe.” The hosts discuss how puns work, and what makes them clever. Martha recommends John...

Days of Wine Flights and Mullets

Barack Obama wants to put people to work building roads and bridges. But how about a federal jobs program for out-of-work writers? Also: why do we call it a flight of wine? How did the haircut called a mullet get its name?

Kay in a Poetry Brothel Is Funny

Memorial Day good wishes to you and the remembered. Here's another newsletter from "A Way with Words." Did you miss us? There was no newsletter last week, so now we have two brand-spanking-new episodes to share. This past...

Wet Behind the Ears

Why do we say that someone is inexperienced is “wet behind the ears”? The hosts tackle that question, and discuss whether Barack Obama misspoke during the 2008 presidential campaign when he used a similar expression, green behind the...