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You Did It!

Happy new year and welcome to another A Way with Words newsletter!

As you might have guessed by the subject line, you helped the show reach its fundraising goal of $25,000 — and you beat it!

Thank you so much for your generosity and your vote of approval for what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re pleased and thankful, and flattered by the many kind messages you sent along with your gifts.

There will be no celebratory backstroke through a vault of money, though. More than half of the total will go to cover distribution via the Public Radio Satellite System. Another chunk will help defray the cost of renting a recording studio and using a sound engineer. The remainder will help cover the toll-free line and the cost of distributing the show via podcast. It’ll zero out fairly fast, but it will mean more new episodes in 2012!

Thank you for melting our hearts.

On The Air

Over the holidays we aired a couple of encore presentations (*cough* repeats *cough*) you should check out: this past weekend’s episode and the weekend before that. Good stuff in there worth a second listen.

Hello, Vermont!

Starting this coming weekend, you can hear the show throughout Vermont at 6 a.m. Saturdays on Vermont Public Radio. It also reaches large chunks of New Hampshire, as well as a bit of Quebec and New York State. It’s better than coffee to wake up to! Or both!

Words of the Year Will Never Die

This week is the big 22nd-annual “words of the year” vote by the American Dialect Society in Portland, Oregon. Grant has been a part of the vote and the organization for years and will be there to kibitz.

Nominations will be made Thursday; the vote is Friday. Both meetings are open to the public (see the schedule linked above) at the downtown Hilton, so feel free to drop by and cast your votes. It’s the only “word of the year” contest that really matters.

You’ll also see on the schedule linked above that Grant will be speaking at 3:45 p.m. Friday about how he and Martha use the Dictionary of American Regional English on the show. Drop by and say “hello.”

• With Ben Zimmer, Grant was a guest on Minnesota Public Radio’s Midmorning show to talk about words of the year.

• Grant’s big list of “word of the year” nominations makes up his eighth annual “words of the year” piece for the New York Times. Bronies, bath salts, the human megaphone, and more.

Peace out,

Martha and Grant

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Further reading

At First Blush (episode #1529)

Book recommendations and the art of apology. Martha and Grant share some good reads, including an opinionated romp through English grammar, a Spanish-language adventure novel, an account of 19th-century dictionary wars, and a gorgeously illustrated...

Sweet Spot (episode #1630)

If you’re in a book club, how do you decide what books to read? There are lots of different ways, depending on your group’s goals. And is it ever wise to correct someone who mispronounces a word? Sometimes you have to decide if...