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Diabolically Arcane

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10 May, 2011

Almost a century ago, back in 1913, Canberra was a sprawl of turf and stringy gums on the Molonglo River, not a flagpole in cooee. Yet forefathers had earmarked the patch to be our nation’s new capital, if only to stop the two major states from brawling. As for a name, Canberra was suggested – the local word for meeting place.

Though taxpayers of the day had plenty of other ideas for the site, namely Swindleville, Cookaburra, Gonebroke, Wheatwoolgold and Kangaremu. Other ideas included the cluttered hybrids of Sydmelperadbrisho and Meladneyperbane, not forgetting Caucus City and Eucalypta.

But why stop there? Imagine every state and territory capital is in the market for a new name, Canberra included. What are your suggestions? Perhaps Sydney could be badged as Gridlock, or Allaboutaview, and Melbourne could cop Etagton, or Caffeinia. As for Canberra, seems Abbottabad is already bagsed.

But let’s get toponymic for a tick. Give us your ideas, and I’ll forward the best to the appropriate authorities. Six state capitals, and two territory towns, adds up to eight possible trophies, with an overall winner declared by week’s end. Deadline to observe is your civic duty is Thursday moonrise. So why wait? Nominate.


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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Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

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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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