In the News

Some of my recent appearances in the news media.

(For media outlets, I can be identified briefly this way: Martha Barnette is a journalist, author of books on word origins, and co-host of  A Way with Words, a national radio program about language.)

August 23, 2012. I discussed slang and neologisms with John Munson on Wisconsin Public Radio’s At Issue with Ben Merens.

July 5, 2012. I held forth to BBC Radio Scotland’s John Beattie about how foods got their names.

May 21, 2012. I joined Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer and host Kerri Miller on Minnesota Public Radio‘s The Daily Circuit to talk about current language trends.

February 27, 2012. Ross McCammon quotes me in the March issue of Entrepreneur magazine for a story on how to find your authentic voice for social media.

February 18, 2012. As a followup to Sunday’s New York Times acrostic, The San Diego Union-Tribune’s columnist Diane Bell elicits a true confession about my acrostic-solving abilities — or more correctly, my lack thereof.

February 12, 2012. Inside The New York Times Sunday Magazine’s acrostic puzzle is a quotation from my book A Garden of Words.  Humorist and puzzle constructor Deb Amlen, who blogs about the puzzles each week in her New York Times “Wordplay” column, offers commentary on this flowery acrostic.

February 2, 2011: “Dickens in America,” the BBC4 documentary by actress Miriam Margoyles (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “Being Julia”), is released on DVD. Margoyles interviews Martha about the playful, inventive vocabulary of the mid-19th century American frontier.

July 14, 2010: A conversation heard on A Way with Words leads to a column in the Evansville, Ind., Courier-Press about “skywalkers.”

April 5, 2010: I was the featured guest on Wisconsin Public Radio‘s live call-in show, At Issue with Ben Merens, discussing regional English in America.

November 29, 2009: A Way with Words is the subject of a feature story in the San Diego Union-Tribune. National following for local “Words.”

September 25, 2009: I was quoted in the New York Times on the doggy origins of the word “adulation.” Inside The List.

April 15, 2009: I contributed to a discussion of recession-related words in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “In ‘toxic’ times, Americans take refuge in words.

Feb. 23, 2009: I talked with the Orange County Register about “linguistic inflation.” Our time: Beware of those robust, Styrofoam words.

Feb. 16, 2009: Travel magazine World Hum asked me and my radio partner Grant Barrett about regional American expressions. Regional American Words: Is That a Pork Steak in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?.

January 8, 2009: I discussed the annual “Banished Words List” in a television interview on San Diego’s Channel 6.

July 23, 2008: My radio partner Grant Barrett and I are featured on PRX Conversations ’08 talking about political slang. It can also be found on the Campaign Audio from PRX blog.

April 5, 2008: My book A Garden of Words is considered by a garden writer. Speaker has bumper crop of words, Indianapolis Star.

April 1, 2008: I was the special guest at the Indy Reads annual Alphabet Affair and benefit in Indianapolis on April 12th. Buzzin’ around town… Indianapolis Star.

March 1, 2008: My radio partner Grant Barrett and I and A Way with Words are profiled in an in-flight magazine. What’s That You Say? American Way magazine, PDF, 764K.

February 12, 2008: I was quoted by language columnist Nathan Bierma about the bloody origin of the word “shambles.” Word’s history now lies in shambles, Chicago Tribune.

December 4, 2007: I talked about grammatical questions of particular interest to physicians in the American Academy of Neurology’s podcast version of its journal, Neurology.

August 7, 2007: I am quoted by Chicago Tribune columnist Nathan Bierma on whether English really needs a new bit of punctuation called the “pomma point.”

July 6, 2007: My radio partner Grant Barrett and I make a special transatlantic appearance on BBC Radio Five‘s Up All Night. MP3, 57MB, 1:02:39.

February 21, 2007: Martha is quoted by Chicago Tribune columnist Nathan Bierma about the origin of dog-related expressions, such as “it’s raining cats and dogs.”