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Help support A Way with Words broadcasts and podcasts by making a donation now. Dear friends, Last week we sent out a simple survey to tens of thousands of A Way with Words listeners and fans. Our goal: to find out your consensus on the state of the...

Dust Bunnies (episodes #1393)

Is it cheating to say you’ve read a book if you only listened to it on tape? Over the centuries, the way we think about reading has changed a lot. There was a time, for example, when reading silently was considered strange. Plus, what do you...

Episode 1390

Feeling Gruntled

Hyperbolic Headlines Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity!!!! Or maybe not. You’ve seen those breathless headlines on the internet, like “You Won’t Believe What This 7-year-old Said to The President!” They’re supposed to...

Episode 1403

Month of Sundays

If you’re on tenterhooks, it means you’re in a state of anxious anticipation or suspense. But what IS a tenterhook? The answer goes back to a 15th-century manufacturing process. Also, you probably have a term for those crumbs that...

Tenterhooks

To be on tenterhooks, meaning to wait anxiously for something, comes from the tenterhooks on frames used for stretching out wool after it’s washed. This is part of a complete episode.

A Hole to China (episode # 1368)

Have a question about objective pronouns? Whom ya gonna call? Wait–is that right? Or would it be “who ya gonna call”? “Whom” may be technically correct, but insisting on it can get you called an elitist. It’s...