In the Media

These are some of the places I have been interviewed or quoted.

August 5, 2014: “New Scrabble dictionary picks up the language of the millennialsReuters

July 20, 2014: “The Most Overused WordsCentral Time, Wisconsin Public Radio

May 23, 2014: “‘Dog Whistles’ Only Some Voters Hear in the Wall Street Journal.

March 13, 2014: “Americans Have Started Saying ‘Queue.’ Blame Netflix.” The New Republic

February 9, 2014: Quoted about “huck,” meaning, among other things, “to throw.” An Olympic Snowboarder Said “Huck It,” and the BBC Freaked Out.” Slate.

January 31, 2014: Commented on “wardrobe malfunction.” “The Legacy of Janet Jackson’s Boob,” The Atlantic.

January 30, 2014: Two separate mentions in the same arts column. “The Kinsee Report: Bagby Beer’s “Cancer Can’t Kill Me” graffiti and more.” San Diego CityBeat.

December 21, 2013: Wrote “A Wordnado of Words in 2013,New York Times.

December 19, 2013: Interviwed for “From “Cronut” To “Selfie,” NYT’s 2013 Words Of The Year,Midday Editionon KPBS-FM and Evening Edition on KPBS-TV, San Diego.

December 11, 2013: “6 geezers laying? Holidays bring on song botches,Associated Press

December 10, 2013: “Speaking military slang,Illinois Public Media, Urbana, Illinois

December 8, 2013: “Words of the Year: Where are they now?Boston Globe

December 6, 2013: “‘Wrong Side of History’ Seems to Be on the Right Side of It,New York Magazine

November 8, 2013: “The Enigmatic Pecan: Why So Pricey, And How To Pronounce It?NPR News

October 14, 2013: “Old-Time Slang–Ready For A Comeback?Central Time on Wisconsin Public Radio. Audio here.

October 3, 2013: Interviewed in the 3rd Space newsletter.

September 28, 2013: Mentioned in the Gulfport/Biloxi Sun-Herald. “A Mississippi Coast ‘way with words’”

September 26, 2013: Me and my book are mentioned in Tencent, a Chinese news site. “英语的进化:回顾“强奸”一词的历史变迁 English Evolution: Review “rape” is the historical changes”.

July 26, 2013: Answered some questions about slang for the Collaborative Services blog. “In Defense of the ‘Poetry of the People.’

July 23, 2013: New York Times crossword blog. “Person Who Has a Way With Words.

July 19, 2013: UK Guardian. “Top 10 US podcasts for road trip listening.

July 1, 2013: Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time.

June 17, 2013: One of the expert talking heads on National Geographic‘s television special Slang Hunters. I’m at the end of this promo video. Awesome is awesome!

May 27, 2013: “Aberg has a special ‘way with words’,” White Rock Lake Weekly, Dallas, Texas.

May 19, 2013: “Their way—not my way—with words,” Me, Senescent blog

May 17, 2013: “A Cursing Mayor, a Tweeting Six-Year-Old and Other Highlight From A Way with Words, Live at Lakewood TheaterDallas Observer.

May 15, 2013: “The Magic of LanguageThink on KERA 90.1 Dallas Texas.

April 17, 2013: KFMB-TV CBS 8, speaking about the names given to red-tailed hawks at the San Diego Museum of Man.

April 5, 2013: Wall Street Journal‘s “Week in Words.”

March 23, 2013: “One-on-one with Grant Barrett” in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

March 11, 2013: Guest on The Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio, talking about dictionaries, grammar, and language. “The future of dictionaries in the digital age.”

February 23, 2013: Appeared on San Diego 6 in the Morning in reference to bullying.

February 18, 2013: A live appearance on KUSI-TV to promote the San Diego Council on Literacy’s adult spelling bee.

February 15,2013: “Slang expert to hang out at library.” UT San Diego.

February 4, 201: More on “throw shade,” this time on the How Stuff Works blog. “How to Throw Shade.”

January 22, 2013: Quoted in reference to “throwing shade.” “Michelle Obama’s eyeroll towards John Boehner becomes viral sensation.” NBC: The Grio.

December 27, 2012: “ Ermahgerd! Here are the top words of 2012” by Misty Harris for Postmedia News. Widely reprinted across Canada.

December 22, 2012: Annual words-of-the-year list for the New York Times. “Words of 2012.” Reprinted in the International Herald Tribune and other papers. Also mentioned on the New York Times Arts Beat blog on December 31, 2012.

December 19, 2012: “The Words That Defined 2012” on KPBS-TV and KPBS-FM, San Diego.

December 11, 2012: “A Word with Grant Barrett,” Balboa Park official website. In Spanish.

November 28, 2012: Quoted in reference to the slang word “cougar” in the Irish Daily Mail, Ireland. “Hippie Boy’s tale of conflict.”

November 21, 2012: Appeared on Joy Cardin show on Wisconsin Public Radio.

October 31, 2012: A few comments on the American presidential elections. “US election: 10 oddities explained.” BBC News.

October 3, 2012: Interviewed on the speaking styles and debate expectations for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in advance of their first debate. “Grant Barrett On The Presidential Debate And Debaters.” KPBS-FM, San Diego.

September 27, 2012: Quoted by Stan Carey on his blog Sentence First on the subject of British anti-Americanism as a feature of language complaints. “Anti-anti-Americanismism.”

August 23, 2012: How could I refuse to answer questions about sex-related terms? “Both genders suffer from sexual dry spells: Sexologists.” QMI News Agency article printed in the Calgary Sun, Toronto Sun, and other Canadian newspapers.

August 14, 2012. Slate asked about political soapboxes. “Why Do Politicians Get Up on Soapboxes?

April 26, 2012: An hour-long live call-in with the staff and listeners of North Country Public Radio. We crammed a lot into it. Dale Hobson has a commentary about it on top of the web post “Call-in: A Few Words with Grant Barrett.” The whole thing is available for online listening: Download the MP3.

Mar. 26, 2012: What’s the history of the term “Obamacare”? I helped the New York Times put it on a timeline. “Fighting to Control the Meaning of ‘Obamacare’.”

Mar. 16, 2012: John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun quotes me on the subject of “arab” and “arabber,” Baltimore-area slang. “Were they all arabbers?

Feb. 3, 2012: Spoke to the Baltimore Sun about police “10 codes.” “State police stop talking in code.”

January 27, 2012: For an article printed nationwide by Canada’s Postmedia, I’m asked my opinion on the the naming of “anti-homophobia” school clubs in Canada. “What’s in a name? Quite a lot, says lexicographer.”

January 12, 2012: A part of an “American Life” segment of the Special English service of the Voice of America, talking about political language. “‘Super PACs’ and More: Politics, Money and Language.”

January 9 2012: Talked about — what else? — words of the year with Bob Joseph of WNBF AM in Binghamton, New York.

January 7, 2012: CNN quoted me about “occupy” being chosen word of the year by the American Dialect Society in Portland, Ore. “Linguists name ‘occupy’ as 2011′s word of the year.

January 6, 2012: Spoke with the Voice of America about the 2011 words of the year. “‘Word on Street’ Impacted Language in 2011.” Includes audio.

January 3, 2012: Spoke with Alison St. John on KPBS Radio‘s Midday Edition about the words of the year for the US and San Diego. “Grant Barrett’s Annual Words Of The Year.” Also a guest on KPBS-TV‘s Evening Edition. See the video.

January 1, 2012: My eighth annual New York Times “words of the year” list is published. “Which Words Will Live On?

December 30, 2011: Spoke to SF Weekly about the Black English word “trickeration.” “‘Trickeration’: Is This Hot New Word Really a Word?

December 30, 2011: On Minnesota Public Radio‘s Midmorning talking about words of the year for 2011. Year in Words.”

December 15, 2011: Spoke with NBC about Merriam-Webster’s choice of “pragmatic” as the word of the year. ““Pragmatic” Chosen as Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year.”

December 12, 2011: Talking new words with Misty Harris of Canada’s Postmedia News. “New words are the new cool thanks to social media.”

December 2011 issue of Riviera Magazine includes me in a photo gallery of the San Diego Architectural Foundation 2011 Orchids & Onions, which I emceed.

November 25, 2011: Gave some tidbits to Reuters about the term “Black Friday.” “Spirited ‘Black Friday’ has dark roots.”

November 24, 2011: Spoke to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about “The origins of Black Friday.”

October 28, 2011: San Diego Daily Transcript includes me in its recap of the San Diego Architectural Foundation 2011 Orchids & Onions, which I emceed. “Annual Orchids & Onions recognizes best, worst in local architecture.”

October 27, 2011: The Associated Press asks me about words related to the “Occupy” movement. ‘Occupy’ protests give birth to new catchphrase.” The article was reprinted in thousands of newspapers around the world.

October 22, 2011: Mentioned by Ben Zimmer in a Boston Globe piece about the word “ridiculous” and its variants. “That’s ridiculous: How the absurd became sublime.”

September 11, 2011: Quoted in “The language of 9/11: We may think differently 10 years later, but do we talk differently?” in the Chicago Tribune.

September 5, 2011: Interviewed by Kerri Miller on “Midmorning” on Minnesota Public Radio.

August 3, 2011: Debated whether American English is destroying British English on Q on CBC Radio, which airs across Canada and the United States. “Is American English taking over?

July 27, 2011: Canada’s National Post recaps the British-vs.-American language rivalry. “Brits and Yankees square in off in latest salvoes of the language wars.”

July 25, 2011: For the BBC, I reject the idea that American English is destroying British English. “Viewpoint: American English is getting on well, thanks.” A longer version of it was published at Visual Thesaurus and I recorded two other interviews on the subject for BBC, which aired domestically and worldwide but are not online.

July 17, 2011: Indian newspaper MiD-Day looks in-depth at language in India, and quotes me about language snobbery. “Word play, your way. Good, no?Page 2, page 3.

June 29, 2011: Explained the difference between acronyms and initialisms in the Wordplay blog of the New York Times. “Thursday: Surfer’s Handle.”

June 22, 2011: In Nieman Reports, Joy Mayer talks about some of my work as an engagement editor. “Engaging Communities: Content and Conversation.”

May 9, 2011: Knight Foundation‘s “Knight Blog” reports on my comments at an engagement conference. “Getting Local: Pondering the Future of News Engagement.”

February 13, 2011: I talk with the Philadelphia Inquirer about Cee-Lo Green’s big hit song and the F-word. “A Grammy-nominated song that dare not speak its name.”

December 30, 2010: Talked about “junk,” the body part, to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Airport ‘junk’ up for word of the year.”

December 30, 2010: Helped explain “junk,” the body part, in the “On Language” column of the New York Times Magazine. “Junk.”

December 27, 2010: More words-of-the-year craziness, this time for CanWest, the Canadian newswire. “Wacky words came with lex appeal.”

December 23, 2010: Talked about words of the year with Maureen Cavanaugh on “These Days” on KPBS-FM San Diego. “Grant Barrett’s New Words of 2010.”

December 18, 2010: My seventh annual words-of-the-year piece for the New York Times. “The Words of the Year.”

December 14, 2010: Talked about books with Alison St. John on “These Days” on KPBS-FM San Diego. “Grant Barrett Meets San Diego Through Books.”

December 13, 2010: Discussed words of the year with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Slang’s trash talk goes viral.”

October 28, 2010: Talked about “unintimidatable” with the New York Times. “Carl Paladino’s Favorite Word: ‘Unintimidatable’.”

October 15, 2010: Featured in a mini-profile in Urbanist.

September 29, 2010: Talked about engaging news readers to Joy Mayer. “What ‘engagement’ means.” Joy also wrote about the talk at Nieman Reports.

September 3, 2010: Ben Zimmer quotes me about “sack up” and “nut up” in the “On Language” column of the New York Times Magazine. “The Meaning of ‘Man Up.’

August 11, 2010: Took part in a roundtable discussion about the strength of local news on “These Days” on KPBS-FM in San Diego. “How Important Is Local News To A Community?

July 13, 2010: Chuck Stinnett, writing for the Henderson, Kentucky, Gleaner, mentions me and the radio show in a discussion of literary descriptions of skypscraper construction workers. “Skywalkers: It was fearless Mohawks who worked up on high steel.”

June 26, 2010: I spoke with Misty Harris of the Canadian newswire CanWest about “cougar,” meaning an older woman who romantically pursues younger men. “A ‘cougar’ backlash is brewing.” The story was reprinted in newspapers across Canada.

May 1, 2010: In the San Jose Mercury News, I and other language experts chime in on whether the English language is heading for the gutter. “Are we becoming a nation of potty-mouths?

April 30, 2010: Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the New York Times, follows up with me on specious corporate etymologies. “Corporate Etymologies.”

April 15, 2010: American Banker talked to me about “subprime” and its synonyms. “Wordsmiths weigh in on “subprime” and its cousins.”

April 4, 2010: Richard Creed, writing in the Winston-Salem Journal, remarks upon my New York Times “cellar door” piece. PRETTY WORDS: Looking for melodic combinations.”

March 22, 2010: Talked to the New York Times about the history of “sneaker,” the rubber-soled casual shoe: “Keds Campaign Claims a First, Then Revises.”

February 23, 2010: BusinessWeek asked me what I thinks about the new expression “Great Recession.” “‘Great Recession’ Gets Recognition as Entry in AP Stylebook.” (You can also read the story in Greek.)

February 11, 2010: I wrote about the supposed beauty of cellar door for the New York Times Magazine “On Language” column. “Cellar Door.”

January 10, 2010: NPR’s Sunday Edition host Liane Hansen talked with me about the 2009 words of the year. “The ‘Dracula Sneeze’ And Other Words Of The Year.” I also spoke to and was quoted about the words of the year by dozens of other press organizations.

December 30, 2009: WFPL’s State of Affairs invited me back for their annual discussion of the words of the year. Listeners chime in with many suggestions — and a song! “2009 Words of the Year.”

December 18, 2009: My annual buzzwords-of-the-year article is published in the New York Times: “The Buzzwords of 2009.” I also joined the Times’ “Ideas” blog to field comments and questions from readers. Jan Freeman of the Boston Globe “The Word” blog has nice things to say about it. “Moderating the (sometimes) immoderate.”

December 1, 2009: I was interviewed about my work as a lexicographer on the KPBS-FM newsmagazine show These Days.

November 29, 2009: A Way with Words is the subject of a feature story in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “National following for local ‘Words.’

November 2, 2009: In the New Zealand Herald, I am is called on for my expertise in human cougars. “Who wants to hunt for younger men?

June 13, 2009: In the New York Times, I scoffed at the notion that English has added its one-millionth word — we’re already a long way past a million — or that we know could know what the millionth word is. “Keeping It Real on Dictionary Row.”

May 10, 2009: William Safire quoted me extensively in a New York Times Magazine column sorting out the war of necessity vs. war of choice. “On Language: Choice or Necessity.”

May 1, 2009: Daljit Dhaliwal and Todd Zwillich invite me on the nationwide public radio morning news program The Takeaway (produced in part by WNYC-FM in New York) to speak about the word “pandemic.” “The WHO renames ‘swine flu’.”

April 25, 2009: There’s a big multistory package at Forbes magazine about new words and my a part of it. “Putting In A Good Word.”

April 19, 2009: I helped take a look at slangy suffixes in the Boston Globe. “Special sauces: New ways to end well.”

Mar. 26, 2009: Reuters asked me for some words related to the down economy. “Financial woes spawn words like ‘chiconomic.’” See more here.

Mar. 8, 2009: William Safire asked me to help uncover some of the history behind pay to play for the New York Times. “On Language: Pay-to-Play.”

Mar. 4, 2009: The world-wide free newspaper Metro asked me about slang. “Watch your slanguage.”

Feb. 27, 2009: I gave my take on the new word “porkulus” to Good magazine. “In Political Slang, “Pork” Is a Staple.”

Feb. 16, 2009: Travel magazine World Hum asked me and Martha Barnette about regional American expressions. “Regional American Words: Is That a Pork Steak in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?.”

Feb. 4, 2009: The Los Angeles Times looked for my input about the slang phrase, “He’s just not that into you!” “Sorry, girlfriend, he’s just not that into you.”

January 12, 2009: NPR’s Morning Edition asked me to comment on the new words coined based on the name “Barack Obama.” “Obamifications Denied Word Of The Year.”

January 12, 2009: WJON AM 1240 in St. Cloud, Minnesota, talked with me about the words of the year.

January 11, 2009: I am quoted on the subject of slang in the Johannesburg Times. “Excuse me, do you speak Bloglish?.”

January 2, 2009: State of Affairs on WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted me to talk about the language of 2008. “2008 Words of the Year.” Listen to the MP3 of the interview. Hear listener contributions.

Dec. 31, 2008: My regular column about language, this time about — what else? — words of the year, appeared in the Malaysia Star. “New words odd to political.”

Dec. 30, 2008: Pam Platt of the Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal interviewed me. “Q&A with Grant Barrett” and “Words of the Year, and words that should have been.”

Dec. 29, 2008: More on “words of the year” from me on the CanWest newswire, which distributes articles to newspapers across Canada. “Words of the Year.”

Dec. 28, 2008: I am interviewed about American language of 2008 by Albertus Van Dijk on The Alternative View on CapeTalk 567 AM in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dec. 27, 2008: Amy Rosenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer talks about words of the year with me and other members of the American Dialect Society. “Obama, Palin made history — and words.” The story was also published in the the Kansas City Star, the Charlotte Observer, the Rutland (Vermont) Herald, Barre-Montpelier, Vermont, Times-Argus, and in other newspapers and web sites that use the McClatchy-Tribune News service.

December 26, 2008: Ken Smithmier, guest host of Byers & Company, interviewed me on WSOY AM 1340, in Decatur, Illinois, about the words of the year. Listen online. Download MP3.

December 20, 2008: “The Buzzwords of 2008,” my fifth annual article for the New York Times. I also answered questions about words and phrases of the year on the TimesIdeas blog.

December 15, 2008: Talked about the buzzwords of 2008 on These Days on KPBS-FM in San Diego. “A Look Back at the Buzzwords of 2008.” Listen to the audio.

December 9, 2008: I contributed to Time Magazine‘s buzzwords of the year list. Article, “Top 10 Buzzwords,” and podcast.

October 24, 2008: The New York Times asked me my opinion of the term “recessionista.” “A Label for a Pleather Economy.”

October 24, 2008: I contributed to Slate‘s explanation of what it means to be “in the tank” for someone. “Explainer Goes in the Tank.”

October 7, 2008: Is Sarah Palin a MILF? I am quoted talking about the term in the online magazine The Root: “The MILFy Way.”

September 18, 2008: The Sydney Morning Herald features a look at the false doom-saying perspectives on what technology is doing to our language and quotes me. “Broken English: Katie Cincotta looks at how texting is changing our language.”

September 13, 2008: Talked to the Guardian about “lipstick on a pig.” “Questions, questions: Who coined the phrase ‘lipstick on a pig’?.”

September 10, 2008: Fox TV News asked me about the history of “lipstick on a pig” on Live Desk (video not yet available). I also spoke about it to Monica Guzman of “The Big Blog” of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “Lipstick on a pig and why we play politics with words.” I also spoke about it on the air with KOMO-AM in Seattle.

September 9, 2008: In an article about the self-appointed grammar police, I offered general guidelines for playing it cool but safe. “Drag ’net: Self-appointed grammar police are catching and citing online abusers of the English language,” Baltimore Sun.

August 23, 2008: Talked about the slang term “douchebag” in the Toronto Star.We know a d-bag when we see one.” He’s spoken on the subject before to Details magazine: “You’re a douchebag.”

July 23, 2008: Martha Barnette and I are featured on PRX Conversations ’08 talking about political slang. It can also be found on the Campaign Audio from PRX blog.

July 2, 2008: More about the catchphrase “throw someone under the bus” from me. “Is it time to throw ‘under the bus’ under the bus?,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

June 24, 2008: Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn consults me on the subject of the political flip-flop. “Obama vow on funds was the real error.”

June 22, 2008: What do you call your romantic partner if you’re an older person? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Lover or paramour? S.O.? I gave my opinion in USA Today. “Adults stumble over what to call their romantic partners.

June 19, 2008: I was a guest on These Days, a morning news and call-in show hosted by Tom Fudge on KPBS-FM in San Diego. Listen to them talk about political slang and language (31MB MP3, 37 min.).

June 17, 2008: Bobbie Johnson of the Guardian’s technology blog, points to my article about purposely mispronouncing words.

June 10, 2008: Rob Kyff cites me as a source about the political terms “red state” and “blue state.” “How Political Stripes Got Added To Map,” Hartford Courant.

April 22, 2008: In his language commentary on NPR’s Fresh Air, linguist Geoff Nunberg talks about the phrase “under the bus” and cites me and my research. Text: Under the Bus; audio: “Primaries Toss Some ‘Under the Bus’.”

April 17, 2008: I commented on the likelihood that the word “scuppie” will survive. “The new ‘scuppies’ wear a mantle of green,” USA Today.

April 9, 2008: The excuse “we didn’t anticipate” draws a comment from me. “Un-an-tici-pat-ed: adj. Lacking Foresight in Hindsight,” Washington Post.

April 8, 2008: I am quoted about the phrase “it is what it is.” “The cliché is what it is,” Chicago Tribune.

April 6, 2008: My dictionary site is mentioned by Jan Freeman in connection with the term “mullet strategy.” “The mullet strategy,” Boston Globe.

April 1, 2008: Martha Barnette and I are special guests at the Indy Reads annual Alphabet Affair in Indianapolis on April 12th. “Buzzin’ around town…Indianapolis Star.

March 23, 2008: I helped William Safire get to the bottom of the term “firehouse primary.” “Mulligan Primary,New York Times Magazine.

March 17, 2008: I am quoted in reference to “maternal profiling.” “Mom fights for law against ‘maternal profiling,’Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call.

March 5, 2008: I am quoted in an article about online dictionaries. “Whatchu talkin’ bout: Poly grad’s online urban dictionary still going strong,Columbia News Service, SanLuisObispo.com.

March 1, 2008: Martha Barnette and I and A Way with Words are profiled in an in-flight magazine. “What’s That You Say?American Way magazine, PDF, 764K.

February 2, 2008: I am quoted extensively in an article about online dictionaries. “Word nerds capture fleeting online English,New Scientist.

February 2008: Appeared on several episodes of FUSE TV’s 10 Great Reasons, talking about slang and language.

January 28, 2008: I am quoted about the Oxford comma. “Michael Hogan: Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma,” Explained,” VF Daily, a Vanity Fair blog.

January 11, 2008: Joy of Lex documentary, which includes me alongside people like Maya Angelou and LeVar Burton, aired on the Discovery Channel. A snippet of it can be seen here.

January 5, 2008: Talking about words of the year on American Public Media’s Weekend America, with Stephen Pinker. “Word of the Year.”

January 4, 2008: Interviewed on Milt Rosenberg’s WGN Chicago program.

December 21, 2007: I talked on another radio show about words of the year. “Words of 2007, From ‘Surge’ to ‘Left of Boom’ to ‘E-Mail Bankruptcy,’Wordmaster, Voice of America. Includes audio.

December 20, 2007: Talked about words of the year on the air. 2007 Words of the Year, State of Affairs, WFPL, Louisville, Kentucky. Includes audio.

November 15, 2007: I appeared in online video to talk about texting. Roundtable discussion on texting slang, AT&T Tech Channel.

July 6, 2007: Martha Barnette and I make a special transatlantic appearance on BBC Radio Five’s Up All Night. MP3, 57MB, 1:02:39.

June 26, 2006: I talked with Neil Conan on NPR’s Talk of the Nation about my new book, The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English. How the Web Is Changing Language.

December 20, 2004: Talked about new political terms on the NPR’s Tavis Smiley Show with guest host Tony Cox. “‘Hatchet Jobs and Hardball’: New Political Terms.”

October 5, 2004: Talked about my book, Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang, on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. “What’s Bafflegab? A Look at Political Slang.”

September 6, 2004: Talked about politicians running for office on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan. “Running for Office.”