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The One Who Brung You

You’ve been reading a book but you’re just not into it. How do you quit it, guilt-free? How do you break up with a book? Also, what do you ask for when you go through the grocery checkout line: bag, sack, or something else? Plus, brung...

Butter My Biscuits

Well, look what the cat dragged in! It’s another newsletter from A Way with Words. Given how often we talk about food words, we should write a cookbook. For example, this past weekend’s show was a leftover — a rebroadcast, a rerun, a re...

Open Up a Can of Words

You know that feeling you get when you say something you’ve known forever — slang, a catchphrase, a cultural reference — and the other person stares blankly? They have no idea what you’re referring to. Sometimes you feel old...

Playing Catch-up

Hi, all — We’re back after a brief summer hiatus. So much to catch up on! In last weekend’s archive edition, we discussed “interrobangs,” “pronequarks,” “catios,” “horse dumplings,”...

Tweet Nothings

How much humor and personality can you pack into a 140-character update? A lot, it turns out. Martha and Grant talk about funny Twitter feeds. Also this week, the origins of skosh and “can’t hold a candle,” why dragonflies are...

The Pun Also Rises

Martha and Grant discuss why some puns work and others don’t. Martha recommends John Pollack’s observation in The Pun Also Rises describing how “for a split second, puns manage to hold open the elevator doors of language and...