Merriam-Webster Launches New Podcast “Word Matters” in Collaboration with NEPM

A show for readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved English class

Springfield, Massachusetts

Springfield, MA, Aug. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merriam-Webster, the dictionary publisher helping millions of people understand, appreciate, and use language better, today officially announced the launch of Word Matters, a new podcast created, in collaboration with NEPM, New England Public Media. 

A show for readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved their English class, Word Matters takes listeners behind the scenes of the English language as Merriam-Webster editors discuss new and emerging words, surprising word histories, tricky usage issues, pet peeves, and everything that goes into writing The Dictionary. Hosted by Emily Brewster, Senior Editor and Editorial Ambassador for Merriam-Webster, the podcast invites listeners to eavesdrop on conversations Emily and fellow editors Peter Sokolowski, Ammon Shea, and Neil Serven have about the language’s inner workings.

“When your job consists of writing and editing dictionaries, you quickly become aware that the language isn’t remotely static; it’s a constantly shifting thing beholden to strange logic or no logic at all,” explained Brewster. “With each episode of Word Matters we get to talk through the oddities of English that we’ve encountered in the course of our work, exploring words newly coined or long forgotten, as well as grammatical features and syntactic developments. It’s a window into the usually very solitary work of the lexicographer.”

The podcast will launch today across all podcast streaming platforms, with new episodes released weekly. The first episode, “Irregardless: You Don’t Have to Like It,” focuses on the nonstandard word that launched a thousand irate online comments. Future episodes will include a defense of the word “like,” a spotlight on obscure and forgotten words, an examination of coinages (wrongly) credited to Shakespeare, and some postmortems on rules still passionately defended by many a grammarian.

"Our mission is to propagate our irrational love of the English language, and to help people understand and use language better. We're so pleased to extend that mission through this podcast, which is both a word nerd's dream and a helpful guide," said Lisa Schneider, Chief Digital Officer & Publisher. "We have a lot of fun geeking out about English every day, and this enables us to share that on yet another platform." 

“NEPM is proud to partner with Merriam-Webster on this fun and informative project,” said John Voci, Senior Director of Radio at NEPM. “If you enjoy the history, etymology or just the joy or words at play, this is the podcast for you.”


About Merriam-Webster Inc.
For over 180 years, Merriam-Webster has been America’s leading and most-trusted provider of language information. Each month, our award-winning websites, apps, and popular social media channels offer guidance to tens of millions of visitors. In print, our publications include Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary (among the best-selling books in American history) and dictionaries for English-language learners. All Merriam-Webster products and services are backed by the largest team of professional dictionary editors and writers in America, and one of the largest in the world. 

For more information, visit, an official Webby Award Winner for 2017 & 2018, and follow @MerriamWebster on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About New England Public Media
Through a deep commitment to independent local journalism, trusted educational content, inspired cultural offerings, and civic engagement, New England Public Media, NEPM, endeavors to share new voices and inspire new conversations. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media—TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts and specials. Its four digital TV channels, and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming. New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization based in Springfield, MA. Learn more at





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