Podcasts are audio (or video) programs that you can download and listen to on your portable device.
Some of them are professionally made programs which originally go out on-air as featured radio or television programing, just wrapped in a podcast way so that you can listen on-demand (whenever it suits you).
Other podcasts are made by enthusiastic amateur folks exploring an interest. If you have a hobby, and interest or a passion ….chances are there will be a podcast dedicated to your line of thinking. There are simply thousands of podcasts available.
I listen to podcasts every day. They accompany me on walks, errands, car rides and housework.
Over time, I’ll be focusing on some of the ones that I enjoy the most.
Today I am highlighting one of my very favorites, “A Way with Words”.
A Way with Words is an example of a professionally-assembled radio program that is also made available through podcast (listen-on-demand) format.
Hosts Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette answer questions from callers about language. This podcast is entertaining, enjoyable and educational. I can’t improve on their description of the program, so I am pasting it here, directly from their website:
A Way with Words is an upbeat and lively hour-long public radio show about language examined through history, culture, and family. Cohosts Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette talk with callers from around the world about slang, grammar, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well. They settle disputes, play word quizzes, and discuss language news and controversies. The show is heard by more than a quarter-million listeners each week over the air and by podcast.
******** If we’re talking about the whole lot of something, we call it the whole kit and kaboodle. But what’s a kaboodle? In Dutch, a “kit en boedel” refer to a house and everything in it. For the sake of the English idiom, we just slapped the “k” in front.
******** Grant and Martha share some more terms that make a person sound old-fashioned these days. Ever get a blank stare when you mention the icebox?
******** How do you pronounce garage? Does it rhyme with “barrage,” or do you say it like the British so it rhymes with “carriage”? The variations abound, and they all work.
I especially enjoy it when they discuss the origin of words. One in particular stuck in my brain: I learned that the word “dreary” originates from an old medieval word (sounds like “drehrig”) that was the gooey stuff that remained on a sword when it was used in battle. Awful, huh? But how fascinating to learn that something so yuchy has evolved into the word “dreary” of today! It makes a lot of sense.
Each episode is approximately 50 minutes.
A Way with Words is actually originally sent out as a broadcast radio program. There are several ways you can listen.
* You can listen to it in the traditional radio way if the time and station both work for you in your area. Stations are listed on their website.
* You can also listen by visiting the A Way With Words website. All of their programing is available on-line. Just browse yourself to an episode and hit the “play” button.
* And finally, (my choice) you can download episodes to your portable audio device through your Podcast App. (You can find my post about the new Podcast app here.) Just search for A Way with Words, download any episodes you choose, or subscribe and have them delivered to your device automatically.
A Way With Words. You will find their website here.