March 14, 2014

Calling all Scrabblers

In my classes, I discuss the question "What is a word?" from a theoretical perspective. We have lively discussions, but they are never really passionate. If you want heated discussions about whether or not a squence of sounds or letters is a word, you have to talk to Scrabblers (I don't play Scrabble).

For the first time since 2005, Merriam Webster is updating its official Scrabble players dictionary. What a game changer that will be! There will potentially be thousands of additions to the dictionary and one of these words will be selected by Scrabble players. Fans can nominate a word hereon the Hasbro Facebook page..

Among the suggestions: embiggen, cromulent, emotypo (mistyped emoticon), onesie, Zen ("10 points from Z's never hurt"), ew, Qwirkle (the game), texting, bling, lifehack, bromance, injera (the bread), yolo (the acronym), Jedi, unstaged, emo, photobomb, amazeballs, nowish, craycray...

March 03, 2014

The wickedly talented Adele Dazeem

I don't believe in Freudian slips. Usually, speech errors are either retrieval problems (one aims at "knife" and out comes "fork," a word that often collocates with the target word) or indicators of the speech planning process (one aims at saying "silence is golden" and out comes "gilence is solden"), but what on Earth was going on when John Travolta introduced performer Idina Menzel as "Adele
Dazeem" at the Oscars?

You can travoltify your own name with the Adele Dazeem name generator provided by Slate Magazine.

And you can listen to Idina Menzel's performance here: