Word Matters

By Merriam-Webster, New England Public Media

Word Matters is a show for readers, writers, and anyone who's curious about the English language. Join Merriam-Webster editors as they challenge supposed grammar rules, reveal the surprising origins behind words, tackle common questions, and generally geek out about the beautiful nightmare that is our language.

  1. 1.
    51. The Invention of 'Introvert' (w/ Science Diction)
    26:48
  2. 2.
    50. The Political 'Dog Whistle': Loud and Clear
    22:07
  3. 3.
    49. Is 'Vice Versa' Changing? & More Listener Questions
    15:12
  4. 4.
    48. The Story of a Trending Word
    23:59
  5. 5.
    47. A Totally Original History of 'Stereotype'
    23:22
  6. 6.
    46. Is It 'Pled' or 'Pleaded'?
    18:28
  7. 7.
    45. What Is a Word's "First Known Use"?
    30:05
  8. 8.
    44. Different Words for the Same Thing
    25:20
  1. 9.
    43. The Words We Mispronounce
    20:49
  2. 10.
    42. The Language of Spy and Detective Stories
    17:01
  3. 11.
    41. Is It 'Further' or 'Farther'?
    14:41
  4. 12.
    40. A 'Wicked' Good Episode
    26:54
  5. 13.
    39. A Lexical History of 'Jazz'
    26:57
  6. 14.
    38. What Is a Learner's Dictionary?
    22:32
  7. 15.
    37. Can You End a Sentence with a Preposition?
    19:37
  8. 16.
    36. On Jane Austen's Use of 'Condescension'
    19:05
  9. 17.
    35. 'Fewer' vs. 'Less'
    27:35
  10. 18.
    34. What Is a 'Retronym'?
    17:57
  11. 19.
    33. Tracing the Origins of Famous Phrases
    14:34
  12. 20.
    32. The Story of the Backward Index
    11:26
  13. 21.
    31. Why Is It Called an 'Adam's Apple'?
    17:22
  14. 22.
    30. How We Wrote Our Bilingual Dictionaries
    20:35
  15. 23.
    29. There Is No Such Thing as "The Dictionary"
    18:47
  16. 24.
    28. The Onomatopoeia Episode
    26:20
  17. 25.
    27. What's the Longest Word in the Dictionary?
    15:35
  18. 26.
    26. How Do You Pronounce 'Often'?
    21:34
  19. 27.
    25. New Words in the Dictionary
    32:54
  20. 28.
    24. Questions from You
    27:42
  21. 29.
    23. Who Put the 'Lady' in 'Ladybug'?
    18:04
  22. 30.
    22. Words That Are Their Own Opposites
    27:40
  23. 31.
    A Holiday Greeting
    0:30
  24. 32.
    21. When a Mistake Leads to a New Word
    22:29
  25. 33.
    20. Is It a '180' or a '360'?
    18:25
  26. 34.
    19. The Word of the Year 2020
    33:10
  27. 35.
    18. Is "Try And" a Proper Use? plus More Listener Questions
    18:12
  28. 36.
    17. How to Read a Dictionary Entry
    18:14
  29. 37.
    16. 'Contact' and 'Impact': Acceptable Verbs?
    23:15
  30. 38.
    15. Why Are American and British English Different?
    24:47
  31. 39.
    14. Everything Is 'Awesome.' Or Is It?
    31:05
  32. 40.
    13. What's Up with 'Biweekly'? and Other Listener Questions
    16:45
  33. 41.
    12. A Collection of Obscure Words for People Who Annoy You
    9:26
  34. 42.
    11. Can Something Be "Very Unique"?
    23:00
  35. 43.
    10. How "Not" to Start a Sentence
    21:53
  36. 44.
    9. In Defense of 'Like'
    25:16
  37. 45.
    8. A Collection of Obscure Words That Are Pretty Much Useless
    9:21
  38. 46.
    7. 'Matriculate': A Word on the Move
    19:32
  39. 47.
    6. Sorry, But Shakespeare Didn't Create That Word
    20:07
  40. 48.
    5. Can I Get a Word in the Dictionary?
    27:06
  41. 49.
    4. How Do You Even Pronounce 'Antennae' Anyway?
    25:21
  42. 50.
    3. A Collection of Obscure Words That You Might Find Useful
    10:10

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