: As you write, hold the alt key and click on a word to find a rhyme for it...
lets you view foreign-language web pages with definitions in your language as mouseovers (registration-only). [more inside]
allows you to see what the most often used word was on any given day in the U.S Congress. [via mefi projects]
A poem that builds upon itself and grows as the world wide web grows. The Apostrophe Engine
is a website operated by Bill Kenney and Darren Wershler-Henry. It is the source of the poems in apostrophe
, a book published by ECW Press in 2006.
The home page of the Apostrophe Engine site presents the full text of a poem called "apostrophe", written by Bill in 1993. In this digital version of the poem, each line is now a hyperlink.
How it works. [more inside]
Hot For Words
- a youtube classroom series on etymology taught by Marina
, a... hot Russian philologist. Mildly NSFW. [more inside]
have some wonderfully puerile games for you to enjoy- and needless to say, probably NSFW. Try your hand at Roger's Profanisaurus Hangman [Previously]
Or play a round of Lesbian Tennis
(PC only download, Mac users, you're not missing much). Perhaps you would like to keep a virtual pet
, perhaps a Sim City style holiday resort game
is more your cup of tea (Download). Full collection here
The Dictionary of Coming to Terms with the Past (Wörterbuch der 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung'
) examines over 1,000 German words that have Nazi connotations, such as Endlösung
(Final Solution) and Selektion
, It is featured in a review
by der Spiegel. Such loaded words still constitute a minefield for Germans today, as the Archbishop of Cologne discovered
last year in a situation analogized
to Senator Biden's use of the term "articulate" when referring to Senator Obama. [more inside]
“Subprime” voted 2007 word of the year
by the American Dialect Society. Disagree? You had your chance to submit your own nominees, thanks to mo nickels on MeFi Projects
. Pre vi ous ly [more inside]
"This year, in a gesture of humanitarian relief, the (Lake Superior State University Banished Words) committee restores "truthiness," banned on last year's list, to formal use. This comes after comedians and late-night hosts were thrown under the bus and rendered speechless by a nationwide professional writers' strike. The silence is deafening."
Of course, "(thrown) under the bus
"* is on this year's Banished List, along with "perfect storm
", "back in the day
", "x is the new y
", "give back
" and other seemingly "random
" words and phrases.
*One of the requirements for a Banished Word or Phrase is that it has been used as a title for a Blogspot or Typepad blog. [more inside]
The White Noise Supremacists:
Lester Bangs on race, words, post-punk, and society. [more inside]
Definr is an incredibly fast online dictionary.
It joins other cool Web 2.0ish word applications, such as Wordie [prev.]
with its hot words
and great blog
(see also their glossary of glossaries
); the collective Madlibs-like idea generator that is Seedy
; the TagCrowd
word cloud creator; and, most importantly, the blog devoted solely to the word literally [prev.]
Top Two News Words (By Hour).
"Top news sources are parsed by a computer every hour and the two most frequently used words are determined and printed out on a continuous sheet of paper." An art
project by Rick Valentin
, better known to late-80's & mid-90's indie-rock fans as the lead singer
of the Poster Children
. An updated-hourly RSS feed
is also available.
"The old, mean man" vs. "The mean old man."
Here's an aspect of English (and other languages) I've never thought of before. If you're using a string of adjectives, there's a natural order for them to appear in: "opinion :: size :: age :: shape :: color :: origin :: material :: purpose". (Although I find "old, mean," due to it's strange order, sort of striking.) [more info: 1
A lovely little song made up of completely random words.
- an online graphical dictionary that uses Princeton's WordNet
. Input a word and watch the branching associations
Have you been seagulled
lately? Find some great new words
to insert into your work, family and friendly conversation. Have you seen that new bitcom
Contrived is the new
28-year-old Tomomi Kunishige has created
a new form of Japanese calligraphy, dubbed Eikanji
(literally 'english kanji'), which uses the Roman alphabet to represent Japanese characters
. Even if you don't study Japanese her calligraphy is still worth admiring, though it must be said that some of the paintings involve a fairly relaxed usage. (taken from Mainichi Daily News
Pompous Ass Words
is a site dedicated to identifying words that shouldn't be used, on the grounds that doing so makes you sound like a pompous ass. With humorous citations and links to examples of pompous word usage by the media.
has come out, crossword puzzles have been on the rise. If you want to join in on the fun, read this primer
by Will Shortz to get started, then download Across Lite
, head to Cruciverb
, and do free puzzles in the right-hand sidebar. Will Johnston's page
contains a huge repository of Across Lite puzzles. If you get stuck, can't figure out why an entry is correct, or just want to chat about a grid's brilliant construction, try reading the crossword blogs. The best two are Diary of a Crossword Fiend
and Rex Parker Does the New York Times Crossword Puzzle
. (Caution! Spoilers abound!) And, if you want to try your hand at constructing some crosswords of your own (submission guidelines for various papers here
), Crossword Compiler
is an outstanding piece of software. [Via this AskMetafilter question]
Truthiness Makes the Trifecta! As I predicted
, the Classic Colbertism
that won two Word of the Year awards has made it onto the 32nd L.S.S.U. List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness
Other linguistic losers for 2007: "Awesome"
, "undocumented alien*"
(effectively replaced by Google), "gone missing"
, "gone bad"
(applied to things already bad, i.e. 'drug deal gone bad'), "ask your doctor***"
, "now playing
(Dept. of Redundancy Dept.) and "healthy food"
is healthier), as well as shorthand couple names like "TomKat"
(Would Bogart and Bacall have been "BogCall"
(lucky for Apple they didn't get that 'iPhone' trademark), men saying "we're pregnant"
, as in 'boasts amenities'
- wordplay: create daily neologisms based on a given definition and illustration. (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Merriam-Webster's 2006 Word of the Year is NOT in their online dictionary
. Officially coined on October 17, 2005, it had already won the American Dialect Society's 2005 Award (pdf)
where they claim that "other meanings of the word date as far back as 1824", and is probably a shoe-in for for the Banished Words of 2007
A distant number 2 is our friend "the goog"
, and after that, it's all NewsFilter/PoliticsFilter/IraqFilter (with that all-time classic "war"
(From the MeFite who posted the Favorite Words of 2004 and the Banished Words List in 2003 and 2004)
social networking... for words. Catalog your favourite (or least favourite) words — make any variety of word lists, and connect to other users using the same words. Silly, but fun!
is a collaborative project to create a dictionary of all terms in all languages.
London's mayor suspended
for four weeks for comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard.
(embedded Quicktime video.) Short animated film featuring little robots who make their own language using Rube Goldberg contraptions.
Were you a minger
, sporting a mullet
, looking a bit naff
when you were getting mullered
while out on the pull
, anytime before 1988? Or were you posh
, looking snazzy
after spending your dosh
to get a nip and tuck
before 1980? If so, the Oxford English Dictionary and the BBC
need you for their Wordhunt
– a call to help find the earliest verifiable usages of a list of words
from the past decades whose origin is still uncertain.
For all the logophiles. Not intended for those afflicted with ultracrepidarianism or logorrhea.
The American Dialect Society has announced the 2005 word of the year
. Sadly, muffin top, crotchfruit, Cruizasy (PDF file)
, and the obviously wonderful popesquatting
were big old losers.
Fsaturday Flash Fun: CryptoQuote
. Other word games featured at East of the Web
are the Tetris-like PopWord
(and its multiplayer companion [beginner and advanced, respectively]
), the MasterMind-like CodeWord
, and the vaguely Scrabble-ish 8 Letters in Search of a Word
Merrian-Webster open dictionary
"Have you spotted a new word or a new sense for an old word that hasn't made it into the dictionary yet? Well, here's your chance to add your discovery (and its definition) to Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary"
a LAME FITTER, FALTER ITEM and A FELT TIMER. We need some MATT RELIEF. Fun with anagrams
A whole other newt
with an ekename
I was looking up the origin of "nother" and learned about the phenomenon known as word misdivisions
. Color me educated.
Charming and unexpected vocabulary from many languages.
Why did Persians need a word, alghunjar
, to express 'the feigned anger of a mistress'? Could there really have been that many insincere mistresses in Persia? Why does Russia need a word meaning, 'dealer in stolen cats'? Or 'someone with six fingers'? And who can resist the Chinese xiaoxiao
, meaning, 'the whistling and pattering of rain or wind'? "These are more than funny foreign vocabularies; they are tiny windows into the way other people live, and the obsessions that drive them." [via]
Paul Murdoch Architects
were recently announced as winners of the Flight 93 memorial
. The design was called "Crescent of Embrace". The jury asked that the design team “Consider the interpretation and impact of words within the context of this event. The 'Crescent' should be referred to as the 'circle' or 'arc' or other words that are not tied to specific religious iconography." Remarks from the families can be found here. [I haven't posted the other links for obvious reasons].
I don't think we've heard the end of this.