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Clean as a Whistle

Finding that special bottle of wine can be tough, and even tougher if you’re not fluent in winespeak. “Strawberries, rhubarb, and hints of leather are present in the nose.” Say what? Plus, many folks wish each other “Merry...

Pie in the Sky

Looking for a book to read with the kids, or maybe a guide to becoming a better writer? Why are leg cramps called charley horses? And where’d we get a phrase like pie in the sky? If you happen to be tall, you’ve no doubt heard plenty of...

Nothing to Sneeze At

Forensic linguists use what they know about speech and writing to testify in courtrooms. And get out your hankies! Martha and Grant are talking about the language of … sneezing. And what do you call it when you clean the house in a hurry...

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...

Lots of Newness

Hey, will you look at that! It’s the new A Way with Words website! We’ve made it easier to search, switched to a new way of playing shows in the browser, updated it to look much better on smartphones and tablets, overhauled the episode...

Welcome to the new website!

After months of work, here it is: the new A Way with Words website. We took a lot of things into account in the renovation, but the biggest category of considerations has been what you, our listeners and visitors, needed. We not only gave you what...

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