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TWTS: The wide world of "wordies"

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We here at That's What They Say are are proud to call ourselves wordies. If you're a regular TWTS listener, you're probably a wordie too. If you're scratching your head and wondering exactly who or what a "wordie" is, the fact that your curiosity has been piqued means you're probably one too.

Don't worry. We promise it's a good thing.

"Wordie" was added to the Merriam Webster Dictionary in 2018, and defined simply as, "a lover of words." Professor Anne Curzan thinks we all have an inner wordie in our head, and that we all love language.

Think about it. We like to pun and enjoy using slang. We play games like Hangman and Boggle. We spend inordinate amounts of time trying to finish crossword puzzles and figure out the day's Wordle. We are surrounded by our love for words.

Professor Curzan has been honing her "wordie" argument in a book she's writing that will be available this spring. It's called "Says Who? A Kinder, Funner Usage Guide for Everyone who Cares About Words."

In her book, Curzan argues that in addition to an inner wordie, we also each have an inner "grammando." To hear more about that, and why Curzan thinks wordies are "the skilled birdwatchers of language," listen to the audio above.

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Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
Anne Curzan is the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. She also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Education.