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Readers are encouraged to send their favorite linguistic kickshaws to the Kickshaws editor at Answers can be found in Answers and Solutions at the end of this issue.


Tore Ofteness, Ove Michaelsen's brother, sent along the following soon after Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California.

The new California governor has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the state, rather than German, which was the other consideration. As part of the negotiations, the exTerminator's government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phase-in plan that would become known as Austro-English (or, perhaps even better, Austrionics).

In the first year S will replace the soft C. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard C will be dropped in favor of the K. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the second year when the troublesome PH will be replaced with the F. This will make words like fotograf 20 per cent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will encourage the removal of double leters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent E in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the fourth year people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing TH with Z and W with V.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary O kan be dropd from vords containing OU, and after ze fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united Urop vil finali kum tru. If zis mad yu smil, pleas pas it on to oza pepl.


One of Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies is True Lies, an oxymoronic title if ever there was one. Two of the cleverest dialogs involving lying appear in the recent movie Old School and in the old classic Scarface. In Old School, the president of the university makes this contorted statement: "If someone says to me right now, 'Are you lying?' I say 'Absolutely I'm lying. I'm not gonna lie, and because I don't lie about that, that's not a lie. You understand that?'" In Scarface, Al Pacino plays one of his bloodiest roles and says one of his cleverest lines: "I always tell the truth, even when I'm lying."

From Cold Frogs to Deerhounds

Word Ways readers are familiar with letter shifts, in which, for example one moves three steps along the alphabet to convert COLD to FROG. In "Shifts Progress" in the Feb 2006 Word Ways, Susan Thorpe generalized this concept to consider shifts that create various patterns, such as increasing or decreasing sequences, tautonyms or palindromes. Eric Harshbarger has generalized letter shifts in a different way: convert two words to their letter values (A=1, B=2, etc.) and add these values column by column mod 26 (no carryover as in normal addition) to form a third word. For example, MA with values 13 and 1 adds to BE with values 2 and 5 to form OF with values 15 and 6. Eric has found three nine-letter words in Webster's Second Unabridged that have this property: KOMINUTER + SPRITTAIL = DEERHOUND.

Hang Ten, Dude!

Jeff Grant has found that ROSS ECKLER / ROCKS, REELS / RECKLESS OR / ROCKERLESS. Rockerless? According to Google, this has something to do with surfboards.


Mikey Kline would like to know "Who is the idiot responsible for naming the letter W? The other 25 letters of the English alphabet are one-syllable words (W is three), all employ the phonetic stress of that particular letter (W doesn't), and if that isn't enough, the letter should actually be pronounced Double-V (it's not a double U, which is a vowel anyway). We live in a democracy, so let's all vote to change it. Sure, it will totally screw up the alphabet song, but that's a price I'm willing to pay."

I See You

Stephen Chism writes the following:

No 'T' in eye No "C" in "see" There is no "U" in "ewe" Ironic the letters left out when we spell using words for which letters would do as well Do I plan to lose sleep over it? No "A" in hell ...

What's in a Name?

Darryl Francis sends an item from the United Kingdom Sunday Times of Feb 19: "In the village of Shishmaref, on an island off the Alaskan mainland, they know the reality of climate change. Jonathan Weyiouanna, 39, a member of the Inuipat tribe, remembers how his people's way of life which had lasted for thousands of years, began to change in the late 1970s." So what's unusual about this? His name contains all seven vowels and semi-vowels in an uninterrupted row.

Looks Kool

Mike Keith found the following sentence fragment on http://honors.uts/edu/thesis: "IT IS NOT A GIVEN, but controversial and worthy of further INVESTIGATION ..." The two capitalized items are anagrams of each other, and in a sense synonymic as well.
A Collection of Internet Puns

 A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired
 What's the definition of a will? It's a dead giveaway
 Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana
 A backward poet writes inverse
 In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your
 count that votes
 She had a boy friend with a wooden leg, but broke
 it off A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion
 If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed
 With her marriage she got a new name and a dress
 Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat

 When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds
 The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered
 A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum
 You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it
 Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under
 He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key
 Every calendar's days are numbered
 A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine
 A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat
 He had a photographic memory that was never developed

 A plateau is a high form of flattery
 The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium
 at large
 Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end
 Once you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall
 Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine
 When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought
 she'd dye
 Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis
 Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses
 Acupuncture is a jab well done
 Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat

Three Four-Squares


William Etienne of the National Puzzlers' League presents two four-squares with no repeated letters in the January 2006 issue of The Enigma. Interestingly, the first known square of this type was created by another NPL member, George H. Lopes, found in the Jul/Aug 1974 issue of the MIT Technology Review (at the right).

Ove Michaelsen's poem below, is a limerick as you all know. It's a quick little ditty about having pity on poets like Shakespeare and Poe.

 Some can't tell a good from a bad one,
 Or distinguish a sane from a mad one.
 In their perfect world,
 No pun would be hurled
 From a depth of my mind, if I had one.

Number, Please

"in these pages we often dabble with word squares and sometimes even cubes," Stuart Kidd writes, "but of special logological interest is the only number that's one more than a square and one less than a cube--26."

Tour de Force

Stuart has friends in a motor-home club who have named their van VIAGRA--for Veterans Ignoring Age, Going Round Australia!

Little People

Stuart notes that MIDGETS is actually an acronym for several types of little people: Mite, Imp, Dwarf, Gnome, Elf, Troll, and Sprite.

Kickshaws Keereeted

Susan Thorpe notes that a couple of recent Kickshaws were incorrect: "YIELDSHIELDS (recently 'discovered' by Darryl Francis, Feb 2006 Kickshaws, p 46) has appeared in a previous issue of Word Ways. I offered it as a rhyming example in "Singularly Imperfect Tautonyms", Aug 2003, p 171. I certainly sent you BOWSPRIT and CRISPBREAD (in response to "Random Kickshaws", Nov 2005, p 299) and CHAFFINCH (in response to "Wild Words", Aug 2005 Kickshaws, p 223). However, I don't believe that the other words which you attribute to me in the current (February) issue are mine. Or am I going gaga?"

Overheard in a Restaurant

"When I was in a restaurant recently, "Bill Brandt writes, "I had to wait a long time for my meal to be served. Since they had a large staff, I passed the time by reading their name tags. When I put some of their name tags together, I came up with the following story." The Customer's comment (or question) is in the first column, and the Waiter's response in the second.
Anita Goodmeal Carmen Sitdown
Ida Likabooth Wanda C. DeMenu?
Don Giovani Specials? Lynn Guini
Al Triet! Sam Tinmoore?
Andy Pasta Howard U. Likit?
Al Dente Anna Ting Else?
Patty Fwagra Anna T. Drink?
Lem O'Nade Annie Desert?
Chgarlotte Russe Vera Ottadem
Annie I. Deas? Minni Eclair
Olive Does Alma B. Rittback
Donna Rush Harris Yurmeal
Luke Snice Hope U. Njayet
Ottis S. Tasty Abby U. Likit
Dee Licious Harris D. Bill
Emma Chisit? Manny Bucks
Shirley U. Jest! Obadiah M. Knott!
Agatha Hattapei Wanda Tinque

Movie Cookbooks

Bill serves a tasty wordplay delicacy: "When I was developing spoonerism movie titles [Nov 2005 Kickshaws], I noticed that some of the movie titles would also make good titles for cookbooks. The following is a list of Movie Cookbooks."

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Kitchen

A Midsummer Night's Cream

Around the World in 80 Dumplings

Beauty and the Bistro

Gulliver's Truffles

Julius Caesar Salads

Look Homeward Angel Cake

Lord of the Onion Rings

Men Against the Sea Bream

My Fair Lady Fingers


Pride and the Pre-Do-Dish

Silas Marmalade

The Lady of the Cake

The Last of the Mocha Brie Cans

The Ox Tail Soup Incident

The Red Berry of Courage

The Sugar Cane Mutiny

The Thyme Machine

War and Pasta

20,000 Leeks Under the Sea

Literary Classics Cookbook

According to Bill, there was an article entitled "Literary Classics Cookbook" by Seymour Chwast and Paul Scher in the May 31 1998 Book Review Section of the New York Times. The idea was to take the title of a book and turn it into the title of a cookbook. Although none of the "literary cookbooks" on that list are included in the "movie cookbook" list, the concept is the same. The article included cookbooks such as

Finnegan's Wok

Mushroom With a View

Olive or Twist

Remembrance of Things Pasta

Tequila Mockingbird

The Count of Monte Crisco

The Ketchup in the Rye

From News of the Weird

Enforcing the Laws of Irony A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll posed the question whether President Bush is a uniter or a divider. 49 per cent of Americans said uniter, and 49 per cent said divider.

No Ticket Scalpers Here Reba Schappell of Reading, Pennsylvania, a professional country music singer who is also a conjoined-at-the-head twin with sister Lori, told a BBC radio audience "When I am singing, Lori is like any other fan, except she's up on the stage with me (covered by a blanket to reduce the distraction)." Said Lori "I do not ask for anything from Reba. I don't get in to her concerts free just because she's a conjoined twin. I have to pay just like every other fan."

Secrets Of The Auction Houses A Japanese art collector had to choose between Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses for a big sale. Curiously, he asked the two houses to play Rock-Paper-Scissors for the privilege. Sotheby's chose Paper and lost out on the eventual $2.3 million commission. A Christie's executive had taken the advice of one of his 11-year-old daughters who said "Everyone knows you play Scissors first."

Going My Way Transsexual prostitute Monica Renee Champion, 37, was picked up by police in Richmond, Virginia after arrest warrants for indecent exposure had been issued against her in the city's South Side as a male, and in the North Side as a female!

So Inexplicable That It Must Be The Product Of Intelligent Design According to a Phoenix New Times cover story, local man Willie Windsor, 54, has for several years lived 24 hours a day as an infant, not only wearing baby clothes and diapers, but sucking on pacifiers and eating only Gerber cuisine, in a home filled with oversized baby furniture. And the diaper is not just a prop. Windsor said he worked diligently to make himself incontinent, even chaining his commode shut to avoid "temptation", and the New Times reporter admitted feeling "disconcert(ed)" that Windsor might be relieving himself at the very moment he was describing his anti-toilet training. Windsor is a semi-retired singer-actor and said, not surprisingly, that he's been celibate for nine years.

Elba Kramer

And, speaking of people named Elba, the editor wonders whether anyone can locate a real person, either living or dead, with this remarkable name.

Ice Cool High School

Anil sends the following pre-collegiate quips:

A student, writing on an exam: "Our government is based on a system of checks and bounces"

Another, describing Venus de Milo: "a statue of limitations"

Another asked the teacher "Were there only three vowels before U and I were born?"

From a skeptical student: "Extrasensory perception is nonsensical"

From a Yugoslav: "Robots speak Servo-creation"

Total Being

Anil offers this be-autiful view of the alphabet: "TO BE with all its inflections uses eighteen letters of the alphabet. NOT TO BE are the letters F J K P Q X Y Z. Can readers conjure up any inflections I've overlooked that involve any of these eight? My total being alphabet: Am, Be, Could bE, beinG, Has been, Is, will be, aM, beeN, tO be, aRe, iS, To be, could be, haVe been, Was. By cheating, as I'm inclined to do in logological matters, I can cover the rest of the alphabet by invoking synonyms of being: liFe, obJectification, quick or Kicking, Presence, Quick or ubiQuity, eXist, realitY, actualiZed--and with that I've brought the whole alphabet into being! (You're welcome.)"

The Progressive Plow, Man

Anti wants to know "Can you 'dig' this acrostic triangle? (Since my 'true (three-dimensional) pyramid' challenge in November, I'm now obliged to call simple two-dimensional 'pyramids' by their proper name of triangles--barring a better name arising in the future. I'm stuck with this even if everybody else keeps calling them pyramids!)


Put Load On Wedge!

Plow Up, Turn Loam Or Aerate Dirt, Oversee Nasty Weeds' Exhumation, Dig, Greatly Enrich

With more work I could probably have written a long paragraph on plowing of which that third sentence is an acrostic. Then a full-page acrostic from the paragraph, a short plow story from the page, a short novel or long poem (Piers Plowman?) acrostic from the short story, etc. Maybe later."

Sum Time

Anil asks what happens when you add INSULT to INJURY. You get JUSTLY IN RUIN!

A Modified Ferguson Alphabet

Back in the May 1972 Kickshaws, John Ferguson presented a clever "punetic" alphabet that was "A for 'orses, B for mutton, C for yourself," etc. Anil presents a similar alphabet in which the preposition changes from "for" to "in". As the ...
A in esthetic
B in human
C in eye-dog
D in eying
E in defensible
F in essence
G in rummy
H in history
I in cyst
J in ism
K in pepper
L in high water
M in eight
N in date
O in bank
P in urinal
Q in ticket buyers
R in eh? (RNA)
S in shale oil
T in sympathy
U in building
V in ease
W in spades
X in sperm
Y in hell?
Z in double

On Mistranslations

"Strange things can happen when a novel is translated from one language to another and then back again," Anil notes. "Four or five such translations can result in a completely different novel, as illustrated with the word ladders on the left or the substitute-letter transposition ladders on the right."


More Future Titles in Preparation

Anil sends the following titles in search of their books, movies, etc.

Down Memory Lane, or Bare in Mind Poet Counterpoet Walking with Tapeworms (script for the TV series Walking With Dinosaurs, Mammals, etc) Put Fat Behind You (sequel to the preceding) The Millionaire: A Tale of Poverty in 2100 Batman, Son of Dracula Infidel in Cuba The Right, the Far Right, and the Damned Right Anglo ("Sweet ") Charriot, Coming for to Take My Home (colonialism from natives' viewpoint) "Terrist" Rice Paddies in Asia Terrafying the Planets (making them like Earth: terrified)

Two Book Reviews

Word Fugitives is a wacky, wonderful alternative to Webster's. It contains hundreds of words you never imagined could exist, and if it weren't for this book they probably wouldn't! IRAQNO-PHOBIA is a fear of Iraq or Iraqis. The author, Barbara Wallraff, writes a column in the Atlantic Monthly in which she invites readers to create words for things that need words. ATOYOT is a mysterious brand of car visible only from your rearview mirror. Along with discussions of freshly-coined words, the book presents Question and Answer sections in which these very same words have to be matched with definitions. NYMWIT is someone who is always trying to make up clever words. This book invites you to revel in many nymwitty ways! (Word Fugitives, Barbara Wallraff, HarperCollins 2006, hardbound 192 pages, $14.95)

Alice Redux takes you through the Looking-glass beyond Wonderland and into a collection of stories and excerpts from longer works, all based on the world Lewis Carroll created. If you're a fan of Alice, you'll be a fan of this fantastic book. In its pages, Alice marries Huckleberry Finn, Alice encounters transvestites, heroin, and heavy metal bands, Alice goes to an Encounter-with-the-Goddess Workshop, Alice does many other things, and Alice surprises the reader at every twist and turn. About two-thirds of the 32 pieces were written specifically for the book, and the rest were reprinted from earlier publications. Editor Richard Peabody has created an outwonderlandish anthology that would fascinate Carroll himself.

(Alice Redux, Richard Peabody Jr., Paycock Press 2006, paperbound 319 pages, $15.95)

Limerick Inferno

A few months ago, I put an auction listing on eBay titled Limerick Inferno with a minimum bid of $666, the Number of the Beast. For the auction, I would rewrite in limerick form the 666 tercets (3-line stanzas) of John Ciardi's translation of Dante's Inferno. The winning bidder would select the tercets to be limericked, write notes to accompany them, edit them, and share all rights and royalties with me. On the third day of the auction, George Peyton, a Dante scholar, made the opening bid. His record as an eBayer showed, incredibly enough, that he had 666 positive feedback responses! On the fourth day, I had to do a Google search for the name of a particular publisher not related to the limericks, and I was surprised to see that there were 666 'hits' for the publisher's name. When the auction ended, Mr. Peyton was the winner. At this point, I'm past the halfway mark in the rewrite, and Mr. Peyton has begun to set up a website to display some of the work in progress ( Limerick Inferno begins with these nine limericks based on the first nine tercets from Canto I." The Dark Wood of Error.
 There once was a man on a quest,
 But midway through life, without rest,
 His heart went astray,
 And his soul heard him say,
 "I'm alone in this dark wood unblest."

 I confess he was I, mine, and me.
 When I opened my eyes, I could see
 A wilderness rank
 And so drear that I shrank,
 And in shrinking I dropped to one knee.

 I doubt death could be a worse place!
 But since it was there, I will trace
 The world that I found
 On that unholy ground
 Made holy by God's sacred grace.

 How I came there I can't rightly say,
 So drugged I'd become all that day!
 So loose without sleep,
 My confusion was deep
 Since I first wandered from the True Way.

 Now at the far end was a valley
 So evil it looked like Hell's Alley
 I stood very still
 At the side of a hill,
 And I watched as my heart tried to rally.

 I viewed the hill's shoulders: they glowed.
 The planet's sweet rays truly flowed.
 Their virtue leads men
 Past the soft, verdant glen
 And steers them straight down every road.

 And the shining gave strength against fright,
 Whose agony wrecked the lake's light,
 But my heart in its errors
 Through all of night's terrors
 Blew out every candle in sight.

 As a swimmer, who, with his last stroke,
 Will founder as if in black smoke
 And see the low tide
 Of the water grow wide,
 He might savor a drink--but then choke.

 And so I turned wayward, my soul,
 Like a fugitive ghost with a goal:
 To stare my death down
 Without daring to frown
 Or to fall in some sulfurous hole.

How do the tercets differ from the limericks? To answer this question, here are the first three tercets from Canto III. They are the only lines in Ciardi's book that are written in uppercase. Each tercet is followed by the limerick that replaces it in my transmogrification. The words are carved in the stone above an old gate to the Vestibule of Hell, and they spell an eerie message in either tercet or limerick form. The last line (in Dante's original) is one of the most powerful and well-known in all of the world's literature: Abandon all hope ye who enter here.



 O, I am the way to Woe City,
 For I am the way to no pity.
 The pain of your sorrow
 Shall know no tomorrow.
 Eternal? The damned are not pretty.

 My architect, Justice, inspired
 To make me like pottery fired.
 Primordial Love
 From Heaven above!
 That omnipotent intellect's tired.

 The elements time cannot fear
 Were made before I could appear.
 I speak as you cope:
 Abandon all hope--
 I say--ye who entereth here.

Xietionary: A Dictionary of Extreme Words

In the May 2005 Kickshaws, "Xictionary: A Dictionary of Words Beginning With X" introduced 52 new X-words that had never appeared in print before in the entire civilized world. Here are 77 more X-words:

XIAPPYWHARL a frozen rainbow in the middle of a blizzard; a snowbow

XIBFLICKY having two or more toothaches at the same time

XICCITUMTUM a vast mountain of ennui followed by a tiny molehill of ecstasy as described by the followers of Globadobalus Xiccitum

XIDFOP a ruler that is 3/4" long and 17 1/2" wide, used for measuring groundhog shadows

XIECHBOY a boy who wears a Halloween mask to church

XIECHGIRL a girl who stands at the entrance of a church and removes Halloween masks from xiechboys

XIFFIPWEEN to act like people who can't act but think they can

XIGNUTTILT to eat a holiday mix of nuts, being careful to drop all the shells on the floor by the host's feet as a gesture of thanks

XIJAEV to whisper the word "help" at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

XIKRISPLATGZ a prehistoric aardvark's tricuspid

XILKYWA to write with a porcupine dipped in invisible ink

XIMMORIOLIO abnormally normal

XINTOOAAEEP one who sits on a roof during a tornado and makes faces at the approaching funnel cloud

XIOQ anything but love

XIPPIE a person who refuses to bathe unless the water is Evian

XIQNOG eggnog made with potatoes and Elmer's glue

XIRBAX a coat of paint worn when one's own coat has been stolen

XISNUNOONEW an act of sex involving pocket calculators, spinach, an orange negligee, and a wolverine

XIOP a twelve-sep program for abstaining from eating goldfish

XIUEEB the spot on one's back that can never be scratched

XIWXIE a werewolf who has fallen into a swimming pool

XIXANNA a moon made of bleu cheese that is currently racing toward Earth followed by asteroids resembling Greek olives

XIYIZLY to use a rural mailbox for a croquet mallet

XIZ shoes made without soles, for atheists

XOARUFFIL to behave as if one were a frog about to croak

XOBLOB a hideous gigantic piece of gum chewed by someone with a hideous gigantic runny nose

XOCKCLOCK a clock that goes "tock-tick" instead of "tick-tock"

XODDA a special type of soap for cleaning dirty soap so it can be used again

XOEJACTOWEV a man or a woman who walks down a street or an alley shouting words or phrases at a dog or a cat

XOFFART to laugh not at danger but at safety

XOGURBLE a creek that flows from a bathtub to a sewer

XOHTVOZZ a fire in a fire-escape factory

XOIXY a parachute with a small harmless rip in it

XOJXYD to be fined for using a real living bat in a baseball game instead of a regulation wooden bat

XOKKTIPPY sprained, as an ankle

XOLZ an escalator repairman trapped in an elevator

XOM (pl. XOMMIPORANGUVAGALO) a fast rabbit-like creature found in the tropical rainforests of Greenland

XONDEJO a house built on top of a hot air balloon

XOO a zoo for animals deemed too vulgar for a normal zoo

XOPULLER a rope used to haul back priests who are trying to escape the priesthood

XOQZAJ a hopeful ditty sung by the passengers in a space shuttle to the tune of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Comin' for to Carry me Home"

XORRAFLORRA to laugh like a harpsichord

XOSS the exhilaration that a deposed dictator feels upon fleeing his or her home country with millions of dollars worth of gold

XOTUVU the hell occupied by Tasmanian Devils

XOUGVIA the part of a toenail that slides across the floor after being clipped

XOVXXHT a game of chess that ends in a deadly duel

XOWULURIA the sad, mournful cry of a sinking oil barge

XOXIMU a tiny device used by gardeners to repair broken blades of grass

XOYQUINGDAY the day between Thursday and Friday that nobody acknowledges because it is only 3 nanoseconds long

XOZJIJI the most sensitive spot in the entire human tickle-bone

XUAAHH a drink combining one part tequila, one part Tabasco sauce, and three parts motor oil, with a spritz of radiator fluid, served flambeau

XUBAGHUSH the fickle goddess of geography whose borders constantly change

XUCCAP a hat worn in a nudist colony

XUDIGATE to fly by flapping one's feet

XUEFFIZE to wink or blink at a stranger of the opposite sex until they wink or blink back

XUFTQUACK a doctor who uses miracle cures in the treatment of fundamentalists

XUGXUG copulation in Antarctica

XUHAX delicious sugar-flavored wax found in the ears of elephants

XUIAUOO the horrifying cry of a young brontosaurus sinking in a tar pit

XUJAGAJEEWOO to escape from prison by distracting the guards with a game of rock-paper-scissors

XUKIDADA a form of Dada created by Xuki

XULL to push until pushing becomes pulling

XUMEOPHY the study of the language of giraffes

XUNKDA to hit a home run by mistake while playing basketball

XUOQUOQUE a legal term meaning "a murder in which no one was killed"

XUPPISTERIAN an expert on the history of banisters

XUQAVAVA a rubber grape

XURANGLUB the heartless artichoke black market

XUSH to wear a straitjacket as a fashion statement

XUTBIN the part of a pirate ship where gangplank paint is stored

XUUBLUU original Phoenician name of the color purple

XUVA to fall asleep off a cliff

XUWISH to make three wishes, none of which come true

XUXAFFRA a delicious meal of fried debris brought in from the beach on a desert island

XUYNOS Siamese triplets

XUZZAZZY an exclamation meaning "extremely fuzzy and snazzy"

A Mighty Wind

This movie parodies the folk music era of the 1960s-70s by presenting cloying, overdone, and funny songs that might've been sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary. One of my favorites is about a restaurant with an electric sign having some letters burned out. The last line of the song shows what the three-word sign has become. Surely you can figure out the missing letters: EA A OE'S.

Junior High Jinks

Once a year I teach poetry for five days in Mary Jo Dane's five junior high classes. The topics include limericks, clerihews, and alphabet sentences, among other things. Recently I received a wonderful package of thank-you notes in the mail from the students. Here are two alphabet sentences and a limerick from the package:

A Baboon Can't Dance, Even For Grandpa Harry. It Jumps Kindof Like Many Nerds Operating Playstations Quietly. Red Simians Traumatize Undulations Violate Wilting eXtremely Yucky Zucchinis

A Bad Cierihew Doesn't Exist For Good-Hearted Individuals. JUST KIDDING! Limericks Make Naughty Opinions. Poets Quaintly Read Stories To Us, Very Well. eXamine Your Zipper!
 There was a David Morice
 Whose Poetry will never cease.
 He came to our school.
 We thought he was cool.
 He's thanked by all humans and geese.

State Slogans for New Joisey

According to an AOL news article of Jan 12 2006, New Jersey recently selected a new sate slogan from about 8,000 by polling its residents. The top five entries, chosen from 11,227 telephone and online votes, appear below. Which one do you think was the winning entry? Can you place all five in order of popularity? (Hint: No slogan occupies its correct position in the list.)
 New Jersey: Love at First Sight
 New Jersey: The Best Kept Secret
 New Jersey: The Real Deal
 New Jersey: Come See For Yourself
 New Jersey: Expect the Unexpected

Three entries that were not winners are We'll Win You Over, Most of Our Elected Officials Have Not Been Indicted, and You Got a Problem With That?

Capsule Criticism

Louis Phillips sends this multirhymed minipoem:
 I saw, I saw
 I DO! I DO!
 I did! I did!
 Adieu, adieu

A Mighty Wind: EAT AT JOE'S

State Slogan: Come see, Expect, Love, Real Deal, Secret.


Iowa City, Iowa
COPYRIGHT 2006 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:word games
Author:Morice, Dave
Publication:Word Ways
Date:May 1, 2006
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The Great Dog Mystery.
Another Washington Post word contest, and more.
Interlocking ladders.
When words don't fail us.

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