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Diabolically Arcane

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Don't Be Phased

2 September, 2011

Three things of a wordy nature. The first two relate to troublesome words, while the last is an invitation to come cause some trouble with words – and numbers – in old Melbourne Town. But before we go there, let’s turn to EGREGIOUS:

1 Received an email during the week from a blog guest called Mark. He wants to know when egregious – which once meant exceptional, standing out from the flock [grex], came to mean prominent for all the wrong reasons, ie outstandingly poor? I’ve dipped into a few sauces, but can’t find an obvious moment in time. For word detectives, any clues?

2 Blog regular Nib has posted a cool link in a recent forum that deserves its own space. A few weeks ago, writing my Wordplay column, I talked about the booby traps of English – like sauce and source in that last item! [tee-hee] A site called Cracked has some hijinks with the idea. Thanks Nib.

3 Lastly a dare. Letters and Numbers is actively recruiting new contestants, and any Dabbler would be guaranteed dynamite, no question. So hit the show’s website and fill out the form. After a few breezy audition puzzles you’ll be spirited to the studio and rewarded with a dictionary – whatever happens. You may end up in the finals, with your own overnight minibar. Click here, and don’t be a chicken.

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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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