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Diabolically Arcane

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Babble 3

23 January, 2014

Below are some curious tales of the wordy kind I’ve come across lately. Most hail from Twitter, the ideal tool for filter-feeding, and where you blog host spends far too much time. But still, if you find stories like these…

  1. A team at radio.com has combed through the back catalogue of Bruce Springsteen lyrics, creating word clouds for each decade. Seems The Boss is smitten by love, street, baby, girl and night. No real shock, though it’s fascinating to see the decades evolve, and the third-strong words.

  2. 123123, iloveyou, qwerty and letmein are all password cliches, and therefore flimsy defence against online opportunists. A great piece from Slate magazine. Why not share your passwords past (or present for the risk takers!)?

  3. If you love your literature – and your exquisite squiggles – then you’ll love this Vulture list on the 5 finest users of punctuation in the Western canon… (ellipses © TS Eliot). Who wins your marks for punctuation marks?

  4. Did you know CARE package was an acronym? Or Soweto? An article on the Oxford blog about surreptitious acronyms, from Navy Seal to Pluto (the pipe). Any more to add?

  5. Believe it or not, your extended family is likely to include an eam, a fadu and a modrige. The lesser known terms for your nearest and dearest, via Mental Floss. I think we can add Groovy Granny.

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Rewording The Brain

Focus & memory, lateral leaps & logic - every aspect of cognitive health is lit in Rewording The Brain, a book revelling in how puzzles boost your brain. Part 2 equips your brain to conquer any twisty clue, plus the wild crossword finale. Pop science meets neural gameplay, Rewording is rewarding, and out now.


Rewording The Brain

Care to renew your noodle? Rewording The Brain explores the latest neural studies, seeing how puzzles (and twisty clues) boost your neurons. Part 2 helps you crack such clues, and prep the grey matter for the crossword showcase to finish. More here

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101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes)

From Ambidextrous to Zugwang, this mini-dictionary teems with rare or alluring words, plus bonus riddles, puzzles and fun word-facts. Dictionary detective will also nab the collection's three fakes. Ideal for late primary schoolers, or word-nuts in general.

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Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

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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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