Status update: goodbye for now (120)

This is Dave Shepherd with an update on the status of the Word Nerds podcast.

Most of you have noticed that we Word Nerds have been absent from the airwaves (or the Internet-waves) since April of this year. We’re sorry about our extended absence. Over the past four years we have built a sizeable community around this podcast—a far larger community than the two Howards and I ever anticipated when we started back in March of 2005. We have made many friends around the world and have even met some of you offline. But this year we have come to feel that we have in some sense let you down as a “Word Nerds community.”

For more than a year, we produced the show once every week. In the late summer of 2006 I realized that the demands of producing the podcast every week were much more than I could keep up with. The show became a burden to me and to my family, so I convinced my partners to reduce the frequency of The Word Nerds.
In 2007, when it was sometimes difficult for members of the original team to get together, Barbara helped us keep The Word Nerds going by contributing her insights and writing occasional shows. During 2008, Barbara was the principal content creator for as many shows as anyone else in the team.

In 2009, it has become more and more challenging for us to keep producing robust and interesting content with any kind of regularity. We became aware that we were sometimes stretching to find content topics, and that our treatment of those topics wasn’t always as thorough as it was when we started. Our work lives also pushed the show to the margins this year. I myself had to spend the summer completing two large and challenging book translations, long-term commitments that extended back almost to the beginning of the podcast. Both Howards were away on long-term travel on opposite sides the world: Howard Chang to China and Taiwan, Howard Shepherd to Germany. Barbara’s work required her to travel around the USA more frequently. And my own work responsibilities have increased as well, since I am now the chair of the foreign language department at the high school where I teach. Other important aspects of our lives, which faded to the background over the past few years, have raised their hands and asked for our renewed attention.

Therefore we have decided to stop producing The Word Nerds as a regular podcast series. The obligation that we used to set for ourselves to put out a show every week, or every three weeks, or every month, has drained away a lot of the joy that the project held for us in the beginning. No corporate entity or external structure has ever required us to keep the thing going, so there just doesn’t seem to be any reason to allow a production schedule to tyrannize our lives.

This does not mean, however, that The Word Nerds is / are dead. We still may publish blog posts or produce podcasts from time to time, whenever we feel we have something interesting to say. But these publications won’t show up in your RSS subscriptions or your playlists with any predictable frequency.
As a practical matter, if you have been a subscriber to The Word Nerds, if you feel yourself to be part of the Word Nerds community, you certainly can stay subscribed. It won’t burden your iTunes podcast list to do so. All our old shows will remain available online, and any new podcast we put out will come to you automatically. Just don’t feel you’ve missed something if you don’t hear from us for quite awhile. We won’t be putting a show out just because we haven’t done one in a month or two or three. We’ll only put one out if we have something interesting to say about language.

Before I sign off for good, I want to acknowledge once again some creative people who have helped our show sound better than just our voices would sound. Chris Clemente of the Chicago band Kick the Cat—which may not even exist as a regularly-playing band anymore—graciously granted us permission to use their provocatively titled song “Blow Me” as our theme song. Evan Stone, leader of the Translucent Ham Sandwich Band in the Los Angeles area, is the creator of our alternate closing theme, “Grapes.” And all you listeners who gave us show ideas via email, blog comments, and forum posts, deserve our heartfelt thanks.
Thank you for your enthusiastic support over the past four and a half years. It has meant a lot to all four of us to feel connected to you, and we hope we’ll see you again sometime in the future, either online or in person.

Time: 6:51

Size: 6.3 Mb

36 thoughts on “Status update: goodbye for now (120)

  1. A sad day all around, but I’m sure I speak for many regular listeners when I say “Thank you” for many years of enthusiastic podcasting and enjoyable, thoughtful content.

  2. Thanks for all the time and effort you have put into this podcast over the years… it was deeply appreciated and I’ll miss listening to you.

    That being said, I can understand how a hobby like this can really consume you and take priority over more important things like family and career when it really shouldn’t.

  3. I’d like to thank all of you for providing so many hours of enjoyment. I wish you all the best in your pursuits, and I’ll keep the feed in my podcatcher, ‘just in case.’

  4. I discovered you guys while browsing free podcasts on iTunes in March 2006 and decided to give you guys a try. At that time I was fascinated with anything language, and I wanted to know more. It seems like only a few months ago you stopped doing a weekly show and announced it “we’ll put out a show every 3 or so weeks or whenever we get around to it”. It’s hard looking back on it and thinking “it’s been like that for 2 years?”

    I’ve emailed you numerous topics that you’ve liked and two that even got used (the first one being Fustian Circumlocution, I forgot what the other one was), and I feel like a Word Nerd myself. When I discovered no podcast or update in a few months I knew the outcome already and a sadness came upon me. You’ve opened me up to new worlds, like the Reduced Shakespeare Company (who do the most awesome complete works of Shakespeare ever) and I thank you for that.

    I will stay tuned, as anything you do in the future will be great I’m sure. I have never done podcasting but I know how strenuous it can be and how difficult it can be to do it for one year consistently, let alone 4. You guys have done an amazing job.

    As always, keep on rocking on.

  5. I will miss all of you dearly. You have become a regular part of my weekends and I will truly miss the intellectual nerdy banter. I respect you guys decision that if you cant do it 100% not to do it at all. Good fortune in all of your endeavors.

  6. It’s sad to see you go. You were one of my first podcasts and one of the last selfproduced podcasts I listened to. You did an amazing job in the last 4+ years. In the words of a great German Singer/Songwriter:

    Hab Dank für deine Zeit.
    Hab Dank für deine Freundlichkeit,
    für die Arbeit deiner Hände,
    für den Mut der Wiederstände
    überwindet, und alle Engstirnigkeit.
    – Reinhard Mey

  7. We in Brazil are very sad due to this… but we respect you decision and we wish you all the best. Thank you and congratulations for this 4 years of podcast.

  8. I’ve been missing you guys since April. 🙂

    It’s amazing how you managed to broadcast every week; and even when you decided to cut back to every three weeks or so I always looked forward to my Word Nerds fix.

    I’ve enjoyed this podcast SO much, and have learned a lot about words because of it.

    All the best,


  9. Thanks for all the shows! You guys produced a very high quality program and i hope you can come back to it at some point

  10. Many, many thanks for producing a wonderful body of work. As an author and book designer, I learned a lot from you guys and enjoyed every minute of it.
    Best wishes to all of you. I’ll stay tuned…

  11. Sadly, I only recently found your podcast. I do really enjoy and am sorry you won’t be producing anymore shows “for now”. The show was engaging, informative and well produced.

    I will make due by listening to the older shows. I will cross my fingers that by the time I make my way through them you may have found a way and the energy to add more.

    Thanks Again!!!!!

  12. Sadly, the last “Rude Word of the Week” is “goodbye”. Thanks for the time and enormous effort everyone put into these shows for the betterment of us all. This type of giving is podcasting at its best. TWN was one of the first podcasts I listened to regularly and I enjoyed hearing your insights about words and the English language. I wish you all well.

  13. Thank you all for such intelligent entertainment. I enjoy your show immensely and have been missing and will continue to miss the regular episodes. We all appreciate the time and effort you spent.

  14. Your “goodbye for now” makes me sad. I always enjoyed your podcasts. It is one of my favourites. Best wishes and thanks for your shows. I will miss them.

  15. Thanks Dave and Howard. We enjoyed the run. Take care of yourselves and we will see you around the lexicon, eh?

  16. Hi guys,

    Like someone else above said you were one of the first podcasts I found back in 2006 and I’ve really enjoyed a lot of your shows (I even recommend them in a ‘starter podcast list’ on my site).

    I’ll bet you got way more kudos on your ‘goodbye’ news above than any show – always the way – things are appreciated most when they’re gone! (-;

    In all the hype over Youtube etc I’ve always thought podcasts were one of the best and most unique things the internet had to offer the time-pressed amongst us. That said, I’m sure the high quality productions were a huge time-suck from your end.



  17. I’m so glad you are taking care of your sanity and that you explained it to us! How lovely that you all care about the quality of your product over the quantity and the quality of your lives over “external demands.” I feel lucky that I was late to the table with your podcasts because I still have skads to listen to and to enjoy! Please know how much delight you all have spread with the podcasts you have made so far! We’ll all be here when you have something to say! Thank you thank you!

  18. I´m really, sad… I´m from Brazil too and had just discovered you guys! I was so happy for this wonderfull way to practice my listenen. Actually, still am. I´ll keep listening the old ones. More slowly now, so it last longer. I wish you all the best.

  19. A big THANK YOU from germany as well. Thank you for so many episodes of the word nerds, for alle the work you put into your show and the time you spent writing and producing it.

    And last not least: Thank you for being the inspiration to start podcasting myself.

    I will stay tuned and hope to hear you again some time!


  20. LOVE… is a word that describe your work, guys. I know that deep in my heart that you dedicated hard work as well… lots of thinking and so forth. For that I’m grateful, you’ll never know how much!
    I’m Brazilian English student and I think I’ve improved A LOT along with all the fun! I’ve enjoyed this journey.
    Gonna listen to all of the works again and again…. you deserve that

  21. For years, I downloaded Word Nerds while living in Thailand. The clever turn of a word or phrase kept my English from rotting away. So, I am VERY sorry Word Nerds has left the air. Best of luck to all of you and thanks for the episodes….

  22. “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

    By Dr.Forest E. Witcraft

    I’m Thai student , so thank you very much for your great job.

  23. How lovely that you all care about the quality of your product over the quantity and the quality of your lives over “external demands.” I feel lucky that I was late to the table with your podcasts because I still have skads to listen to and to enjoy!

  24. Thank you! I’m improving my english listen, listening yours podcasts. I’m student from Brazil.

  25. There is STILL nothing that holds a candle to this show. WHEN ARE YOU COMING BACK?!?! We miss you!

  26. Hi i’m from Brazil, and your programs are helping to improve my english.

    Thanks a lot, i’m still waiting for new shows

  27. Miss you guys. You helped a lot in my teaching and I became a word nerd myself.

  28. I find this podcast today and I think that it will help me a lot. I’m from Brazil and here it’s too important know english because of many companies wants someone who speaks english fluently. I used to undertand many english texts, but I don’t understand a conversation very well. Then, this podcast will help me improve my pronunciation.

  29. It’s my first visit on this website. 2011 – 2 years later to the end of the show. But it’s still interesting and helpful. Congratulations for your wonderful job, teachers!

  30. Time to come back, guys!!
    It’s been 3 years since I first found out about the word nerds – never submitted a comment, but listened to most of the podcasts…

    Miss you!

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