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Diabolically Arcane

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19 July, 2012

Finally there’s a word for those senior execs – think Barclays Bank or Enron – who receive a swollen pay packet, and act with smug complacency, despite the glaring evidence of their incompetence. Are you ready for it?


That’s among my favourites in a sprawling list of possible new words. Another is a catch-all term for vain, dim, anti-reading narcissists: ILLITERATI. And I kinda like WORDYCUFFS too – being a heated verbal exchange. Or YARB: one who talks about their job too often.

You can find the list over at the Collins Dictionary, with the details of the competition, and how to win a daily prize for the smartest submission. (The harvesting runs until August 31 – so give the challenge a decent chew.)

Regular Dabblers will recall our own neologism contest, back in November, where the likes of Em, SK, Sam and KM all won plaudits for some ingenious coinage. I can only urge those same four players to launch their creations into a wider world – and win a gewgaw for your troubles.

In the meantime, here’s a challenge. What’s an action, notion, trend, object that sorely lacks a name? Add your inkling to the Comments and see if we Word Doctors can’t fill the void. Here are two I’ve recently received:

  • What is the long f-like symbol that serves as an s in early calligraphy? (from Peter Cane)
  • What are the two dots that sit above the second O of cooperate, or second E of reentry? The symbol resembles an umlaut, yet serves to supplant the need for a hyphen. (David Andrew)

Any takers? Any other gaps in need of grouting?

Welcome to the new forum. Looks scary? It’s not. Feels iffy? It ain’t. The DisQus platform is here to block spam and lend us more chat options. That’s all. Please note, you don’t have to create a DisQus account to make a comment. If you do, however, it will speed your future visits. Be assured no details are abused, misused or reused. Let’s fight spam as one, and get back to the grand conversation. Thanks, DA

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Welcome all puzzle-lovers, including any chompers of the Wordburger book or app. (Check them out if you enjoy words & trickery.) And if you still crave more alphabet mischief, click on the burger icon above for a fresh serve.



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Recent Comments

Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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