Martha Barnette

Martha Barnette (born November 18, 1957) is an American writer, radio host, and public speaker. She is the co-host and co-producer of A Way with Words, a weekly, hour-long show about language broadcast nationally in the United States, and is the author of four books, three of them about etymology.[1]

American writer and radio host
This article is about the writer and radio host. For the lawyer, see Martha Barnett.
Martha Barnette
Born (1957-11-18) November 18, 1957 (age 64)
Louisville, Kentucky
Occupation Author, radio personality, radio producer
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in English
Alma mater
Relatives Henlee Hulix Barnette (father)

. . . Martha Barnette . . .

Barnette was born in Louisville, Kentucky to Helen and Henlee Hulix Barnette.[1] Her father was a Baptist minister and professor of Christian ethics and her mother a teacher.[2] After attending Stetson University and Vanderbilt University, she graduated from Vassar College with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1981.[1] She subsequently did graduate work in classical languages at the University of Kentucky and studied Spanish at the ILISA Language Institute in Costa Rica.[3]

After college, Barnette worked as a journalist at The Washington Post, The Louisville Times and The Courier-Journal in Louisville.[1] In the mid 1980s she wrote several stories for the Washington Times about cardiac surgeon William DeVries, the first person to implant a whole artificial heart intended to be permanent, and in particular his second patient, Bill Schroeder and the Schroeder family. After Schroeder’s death in August 1986, Barnette suggested the idea of a book about the story to his family.[4] They worked with Barnette on the book,[5] which was published in July 1987 as The Bill Schroeder Story: An Artificial Heart Patient’s Historic Ordeal and the Amazing Family Effort that Supported Him. A Chicago Tribune review described the idea of the book as a “good one” but felt the execution to be “a bit indulgent”,[4] while the Courier-Journal described it as “straightforward but highly evocative”.[6]

Barnette has published three books on the origins of words: A Garden of Words in 1992, Ladyfingers & Nun’s Tummies in 1997 and Dog Days and Dandelions in 2003. The books are themed around flowers, food and animals, respectively. Selecting Ladyfingers as one of the best non-fiction books of 1997, the Los Angeles Times described it as “a tour de force”, and said that A Garden of Words had been a “fascinating study”.[7]People described it as “amusing”.[8]Publishers Weekly thought Dog Days was a “sprightly compendium”.[9]

As a freelance journalist, Barnette has contributed articles to magazines including Glamour and Reader’s Digest.[1]

. . . Martha Barnette . . .

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. . . Martha Barnette . . .

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