They summon the footnotes of the Merriam Webster Book of Idioms on demand. They solve your homophonic confusions through etymological dissection. They even exhume the roots of those regional phrases or heirloom colloquialisms that your grandmother imprinted on you — you know, the ones you say that make your friends scowl. “Oh, that actually stems from a Greek mythological tale about a village sacrifice, but now it just means ‘You look great!’” Yes, I’m describing Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, the grammar sleuths behind the NPR program A Way with Words. Barnette and Barrett put on brass knuckles for a verbal cage match on Thursday at the Lakewood Theater (1825 Abrams Road), in a session moderated by Think’s Krys Boyd. Since the show fittingly benefits the Aberg Center for Literacy, ticket sales — which range from $40 for back balcony to $200 for VIP — go to a great cause. Get ’em now, or spend that evening sad, sitting at home with your dusty old copy of The Grand Panjandrum. Visit abergcenter.org/2013/02/01/awww/.
Thu., May 16, 2013