Archive for April, 1997

q: Off With Their Heads (Reader Comments)

Dobe suggests "are <— share," which brings up an extension or variation of the Queen's Game: beheading by two letters to produce a non-rhyming word. I'm not certain yet whether such two-letter beheadments are significantly more common than the one-letter version; so far I've only found a few: at <— beat/heat cord <— record eat […]

q: Off With Their Heads

Every book about wordplay is required (by a little-known law) to contain at least one section pertaining to words which turn into other words when you remove letters. The goal can be to find curtailable words (which you can remove the last letter from and still have a valid word), beheadable words (removing the first […]

p: The Similarity Engine

Similarity—the idea that two non-identical things are nonetheless related in some way—is a powerful concept. The idea seems natural to us because humans are pretty good at discovering similarities, drawing analogies, and creating metaphors. When we're told that two things are similar, we can usually draw some connection between them. Given an analogy or metaphor, […]

o: Words of Just One Beat

This week's screed is writ in words of just one beat. I used to call such words "words of just one part," but a friend whose name I can't say in one beat set me straight. "Just one part," as he said, sounds like it means "just one piece of a word." (Oh, dear—now I […]

n: What’s in a Name? (Reader Comments)

Sarah Liberman mentions another state-named fictional character: Nevada Smith, from the movies The Carpetbaggers and Nevada Smith. (I wonder if that's what the name Indiana Jones played on?) She adds that she's sometimes been called "Es" for short, which reminds me to add the nicknames "Effie" and "Essie," not quite letter-names but close. I'm also […]

n: What’s in a Name?

"I'm now firmly in the grip of Flu Abelard. (This year I've decided to name them, like hurricanes; the next one will be Flu Boadicea.)" —Elliott Moreton I've long been fascinated by names—names of things, names of places, names of people. I like words for and pertaining to names—appellation, monicker, nomenclature, ycleption. (Games magazine once […]