Are You a Logophile?
It's common knowledge that Nail-Biting Refreshes The Feet. Oops! I meant to say “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” How did that come out so wrong? I must have had my brain hooked up to that anagram generator too long. Read on for a batch of fun links that will help you improve your vocabulary, win at word games, and impress your friends. Ready, set, go!
The World-Wide Web of Words
I always tell people that words are my toys, and I love to play with them. I guess that makes me a logophile, a lover of words. I'm not sure if it's a blessing or curse, but my brain is wired to detect spelling errors or grammar mistakes. When I see one, it's game on. Once I saw "Pork Lion of Beef" on a restaurant menu, so I had to order it. Poorly worded signs cause me no end of amusement. (Some of my favorites are below.) My brain often insists that I count the number of letters in a phrase, and check to see if the sum is divisible by three. Why, brain, why?
But I digress... are you ready for linguistic diversion, frivolity and merriment? Do you want to find out how to become the animation of the assemblage? If you're a writer, a poet or just an aficionado of words, you'll love this collection of online word games and helpers.
Wordle is a fun word game that's become popular in the past few years. Software engineer Jack Wardle created the free game as a side project, but because of its popularity, he was unable to keep up with the support demands, and sold it to the New York Times. In a nutshell (or even outside the nutshell), you are challenged to guess a 5-letter word in six tries or less. After each guess, the tiles change to show which letters are correct, and if they're in the right position. If you prefer to play on your phone, Wordling! is a very similar app for Android that requires no liaison with the Gray Lady.
Words With Friends is a free online word game that can be played solo, as a two-player, or multi-player game. Players take turns placing words on a crossword-puzzle grid, and try to maximize the number of points, similar to the Scrabble board game. I'm a fan of Wordscapes, a mobile game (for Android or Apple) which challenges you to find 3,4,5 or 6-letter words that can be made from a set of six letters on a wheel. If you enjoy a word search, you can find plenty at Armored Penguin's Word Search page. You can even make your own word search puzzle.
An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. For example, "Time Heals All Wounds" can be rearranged to form "Most Will Use A Handle". The Internet Anagram Server (aka "I, Rearrangement Servant") gives results in your browser, and has an Advanced interface which allows you to include or exclude certain words, specify minimum or maximum numbers of letters per word and a few other tweaks.
Anu Garg, creator of The Internet Anagram Server, also offers A.Word.A.Day, a newsletter for people who want to explore the world of words and share it with other wordlovers.
Also notable, illustrious and famed in the anagram arena is Anagram Genius. Anagram Genius seems to be better at processing long input strings and generating phrase-like results. For example: "not over until the fat lady sings" = "Stringently deathful ovations"
If you're a fan of the Scrabble board game, you'll love Scrabble Helper. Enter the seven letters on your Scrabble rack, and this nifty tool will reveal, disclose and divulge all the words that can be composed from them. You can even specify specific beginning and ending letters, or ask for words of a certain length.
If you're having trouble getting a word in a crossword puzzle, then perhaps OneAcross can help. In addition to pattern dictionary searches, it can analyze the clue as well. OneAcross lets you enter either the length of the answer or an answer pattern, in which you use a question mark for unknown letters in the word. OneAcross also has a tool to help you solve cryptograms.
Also, check out Win Every Game, which is a word builder and anagrammer that can be very useful for Scrabble players.
At Dictionary.com, you can look up a word in either a dictionary or Roget's Thesaurus (to find synonyms and antonyms). The site also offers Ask Doctor Dictionary (for questions about words or grammar), the Word of the Day, daily crosswords, word search puzzles, and a huge list of links to other online dictionaries, including hundreds of non-English ones.
WordWeb Pro is a downloadable program that I find useful. It can be used to look up words from almost any Windows-based program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. The feature I like best is searching for words matching a pattern, such as "ab*ly" which will return abashedly, abjectly, abnormally, absolutely, absurdly, and a superfluity of others. Free and paid versions are available.
The WriteExpress Online Rhyming Dictionary is a helpful resource for poets and songwriters. You can find Ending rhymes (blue/shoe), Last syllable rhymes (timber/harbor), Double rhymes (conviction/ prediction), Beginning rhymes (physics/fizzle), or First syllable rhymes (carrot/caring).
Need a synonym, antonym, or related word? Try RhymeZone.
The Rinkworks "Celebration of the English Language" page will help you brush up on your Proprietary Eponyms, Contronyms, Heteronyms, Palindromes, Pangrams, and Autograms. There are also a handy lists of Commonly Misspelled and Mispronounced Words.
And finally, StoryFun is a variant of the Mad Libs word game, created by students at MIT who obviously don't have enough homework to do.
Do you have a favorite word-related site? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 18 Jan 2024
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Are You a Logophile? (Posted: 18 Jan 2024)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved