Fun with Words

You’ll need to forgive my self-indulgence by choosing to focus on websites that feature words. I am a writer, after all, and writers like words and wordplay. You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy these picks, though. I bet you will find at least one that offers you something valuable. Maybe it will tweak your interest in doing more writing yourself. After all, we don’t want text messaging to end up being our only form of written communication in the future, do we?

A Collection of Word Oddities & Trivia . Speaking of text messaging, a person using it to spell out the longest place name in the world—composed of 66 letters—might find talking on a cell phone easier. The longest place name, found in North Wales, is among some word curiosities found at this website. Ranks of beautiful and not-so-beautiful words, worst-sounding words, and other stuff could keep you busy for an entire afternoon. Plus, writers can pick up some new ideas here.

Luciferous Logolepsy . If you like poking around in the dusty attic of obscure words, you will find 9,000 of them here. I learned that a rabiator is not a rabid radiator, but a violent man. A fancy name for chimney sweep is ramoneur; and an eesome lass or laddie is pleasant to the eye.

Worthless Word of the Day . There are many places on the Web where you can access a “word of the day.” But, as far as I know, this is the only place where you can access the worthless word of the day. Naturally, the words come with explanations about why they are worthless. Only you will know if visiting this site is worth your time.

Oxymoronlist . There must be thousands of oxymorons listed here; the list keeps growing, and visitors are encouraged to contribute. Among the Top 20 Oxymorons judged by the website’s keepers are “personal computer,” “peace force,” “tax return,” and “Microsoft Works.”

Rhymezone . This is a must-bookmark page for poets. The best and fastest way to use its many features is to install the free link bar on your computer. Type in a word (any word) and find words that rhyme, or synonyms, or antonyms; also find definitions, homophones (same pronunciation but spelled differently), and similar-sounding words. For some words, you can search for kid-friendly picture/illustrations of the word and you can search Shakespeare’s works for references to certain words.

Book of Clichés . This fun, tongue-in-cheek site gives you phrases to say when you find yourself in different situations, such as when you find yourself in trouble or when you feel really bad, or when there is too much work, or at least a dozen other common situations. Guaranteed laughs.

Word Spy . The site creators call what they do “lexpionage,” or the sleuthing of new words and phrases that have appeared multiple times in various media. Editors would call these words “hackneyed.” Anyway, check out the subject index and start pouring through the categories, such as buzzwords, jobs and job titles, insults and more.

Answering Machine Messages . See how creative people have made up their own rules as a substitute for the suggested “Hi, I am not home right now, but if you leave a message….” I read through the entire list, yes I did. Found it very entertaining, and it gave me some great ideas for changing the blah greeting I recorded on my own answering machine. You’ll like this—not a website, but just a lengthy text with dozens of examples of people’s greetings.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on April 14, 2005.

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