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A Way with Words
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A Way with Words

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A great new listening adventure: "Incoming," true stories from people in the armed services: http://ht.ly/NC6mE
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A Way with Words

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The ambiguous history of counting-out rhymes http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/04/16/losing-count/
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Tell NPR about your favorite episode of "A Way with Words"! http://goo.gl/iICNC4 Search here to find it: http://www.waywordradio.org/?s
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We're on Twitter, too! Follow us: @wayword @MarthaBarnette @GrantBarrett
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The curious sentences used to test the intelligibility of audio technology http://goo.gl/8UaCYH
During World War II, the boiler room under Harvard's Memorial Hall was turned into a secretive wartime research lab. Here, volunteers were subjected to hours of noise as scientists tested military communications systems. Out of this came the Harvard sentences, a set of standardized phrases still widely used to test everything from cellphones to VoIP.
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I spent many hours listening to these while developing a cell phone background noise suppression algorithm for Motorola. Their poetry is great!
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How do you decide a dictionary's usage advice? http://ht.ly/JYwIi Asimov: "My opinions are strong, but not necessarily authoritative."
What happens to an avowed descriptivist when he's asked to join the select group that sets standards for American English usage?
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A Way with Words

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There once was a gal from... http://waywordradio.org/there-once-was-a-gal/ Put your headphones on: it's a new episode!
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Mixed metaphors: Like a toilet seat made of nuts and shrimp. Extremely dangerous to lots of people, not very useful. —Merlin Mann, http://5by5.tv/b2w/213
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Why is it easier to text 💩 than to support languages millions use to write? https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/i-can-text-you-a-pile-of-poo-but-i-cant-write-my-name
We can’t ignore the composition of the Unicode Consortium’s members, directors, and officers -- the people who define the everyday writing systems of all languages across the globe.
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Cool interactive map of the history behind San Francisco place names http://sfstreets.noahveltman.com/#7380 via @hotdogsladies
An interactive map showing the history of street and landmark names in San Francisco. Use the controls to browse, search, and filter by theme.
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Girls' intentional gibberish and other secret languages https://schwafire.creatavist.com/secret_linguistic_life_girls
Ubbi Dubbi, idig, LF language, zargari, javanais: A peek into the linguistic life of girls through the secret languages they speak. http://bit.ly/1LW6Ttk
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When did "you're welcome" become a gloat? http://ht.ly/JSFaR It's not that "no problem" is bad, it's that "you're welcome" is broken.
What was once an authentic response to “thank you” has come to mean something more sinister.
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Thanks for sharing this. My dad was one of those grasping a can of condensed milk, which by the way he had never seen before. It was in Biella, Piedemont, Italy, 1945. He never forgot and I do not forget. So now knowing the origin of this beautiful expression makes it this memory even more touching. U're welcome friends ! 
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In their circles
682 people
Have them in circles
756 people
Daniel Charles's profile photo
Jae Jin Pak's profile photo
Angela Switzer's profile photo
Jonathon Owen's profile photo
Michele Kelly's profile photo
Dave Nelson's profile photo
Thomas Paris's profile photo
alper tunga's profile photo
Jim McKenna's profile photo
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Contact info
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877-929-9673, 877-929-WAYWORD, +44 20 7193 2113 in the UK, +52 55 8421 9771 in Mexico
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Wayword, Inc. P.O. Box 632721 San Diego, CA 92163
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Public radio's show about language. Coast-to-coast and around the world!
Introduction
"A Way With Words" is public radio's lively language show, with Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett. It's history, culture and family explored through the lens of language. You can listen to the show (no charge!) at http://waywordradio.org/, where you can also subscribe to the podcast and see a list of stations which carry the program. You can also follow the show on http://twitter.com/wayword . You can also talk with lots of fellow listeners on our Facebook page http://fb.me/waywordradio and Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/waywordradio/, and in our discussion forums http://waywordradio.org/discussion/.