A Way with Words is a public radio show about language examined through history, culture, and family. Hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett talk with listeners from around the world about word origins, slang, regional dialects, literature and writing, linguistic diversity, workplace communication, and linguistic traditions handed down through generations.
A Way with Words means different things to different people. It is an oasis of civility and informed conversation both online and on air, an enjoyable way for people of all backgrounds to learn something new, a helpful tool for educators, a place to settle disputes over grammar and usage, and an educational resource for inspiring and satisfying intellectual curiosity.
Over the past decade, the hosts have received tens of thousands of inquiries about language via phone, email, and social media. On the air, they answer a wide variety of them, emphasizing respect for diverse ways of communicating and revealing our common linguistic roots.
The show reaches more than a quarter-million listeners a week, with more than 15 million all-time podcast downloads. The show's educational outreach also extends to talks by the hosts at schools, libraries, and other civic organizations.
The continuous rise in loyal listeners, social media followers, and subscribers confirms a widespread hunger for intelligent, inclusive conversation about language. Listeners tell us they rely on the show not only to help make themselves understood and to understand others, but also to reassure themselves that they are not alone in their joy, frustration, or puzzlement when it comes to the topics explored on the show.