Linguist, lexicographer, writer, editor, broadcaster

A Few Notes About the Radio Show “A Way with Words”

Over the last six months it’s been my pleasure to be a new part of the long-running radio show A Way with Words, broadcast by KPBS out of San Diego. Martha Barnette and I have great fun doing it (God forbid anyone should ever get ahold of the blooper and blue reels!) and it’s been an invigorating experience to work with a team of radio professionals who can turn me into a passable radio presence.

Many friends and colleagues have expressed delight in the sound of the show and have said or written encouragements. Strangers, too, have gone out of their way to say how happy they are to have the show to listen to while jogging, doing laundry, traveling on business, driving to church. They write long, passionate email messages to us about language issues that they believe are important—lots of emails with lots of passion.

One comment that we repeatedly get is that they think of the show as being in the same group as mainstays like “Car Talk” or “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” Listeners think of it as one of the big boys.

But really, with A Way with Words KPBS is punching above its weight class. First created for a local audience, the show now is a growing national name, especially with the explosion of podcast listeners. However, the home station, KPBS, still picks up the majority of the costs of running the show.

So, although A Way with Words is being broadcast from more stations coast-to-coast than ever before, I want to ask that readers here, listeners to the show, and visitors to Double-Tongued Dictionary support KPBS as it holds its spring fundraising drive.

This link takes you to the fundraising page of the KPBS web site. Donate any amount! And in the “Comments/Suggestions” field put “A Way with Words.”

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Grant Barrett