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Grant Barrett, popular co-host of the nationwide PBS Radio show, “A Way with Words,” will share how he was “Rescued by Books,” as well as insights into his radio program, at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Chula Vista Public Library. The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 26, at 2 p.m., at the Civic Center Branch, 365 F St. The program is free and open to the public.

In addition to his work on “A Way with Words,” Barrett is an editor of various dictionaries, including The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English, and specializes in slang and new words. He also compiles the well-known annual “Words of the Year” list for the New York Times. "In a world where it seems everything is becoming digital, it's easy to forget what a remarkable thing the paper book is – the one you can hold and feel and smell,” says Barrett, a San Diego resident who describes himself as a voracious reader. “It's still a stupendous tool by which anyone, adult or child, can learn to read. And by learning to read, we discover the little clues left there on the pages, clues to lives well lived, and to paths outward and away. For me, books were the difference between a small life and a bigger one."

Have you ever wondered about the origin of such sayings as, “can of worms,” “raining cats and dogs,” “nothing to sneeze at,” or what would happen if we actually did “dig a hole to China”? Barrett and his radio co-host Martha Barnette have lively and upbeat discussions with callers from around the world on their weekly show about slang, dialects, family expressions and more. The show, airing locally on KPBS Radio, Saturdays at 4 p.m., is heard by more than a quarter-million listeners each week.

"The Friends of the Chula Vista Library are thrilled and honored to have Grant Barrett as the speaker at our annual meeting,” says Shauna Stokes, president of the Friends’ Executive Board. “We invite the public to come out to learn what the Friends are all about and to hear and see Mr. Barrett in person."

Barrett will speak following a brief Friends’ business meeting. Refreshments will be served. The Friends of the Chula Vista Library is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the Chula Vista Public Library through volunteerism, fund-raising and public advocacy. More information about the organization is available at

Posted: January 13, 2014

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