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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Word Play

"People just love to play with words. People just love to play, haven't you heard?"
-- Men at Work

Who says there aren't life lessons in 80s music? *grin* These lyrics still ring true 28 years after being released on vinyl by this once popular Australian band (and have been in my head ever since I decided to pen this post!) Vinyl may not be as popular, but word play, well it's still humming right along.

There are a number of ways to play with words, and unlike with your mother's casserole surprise, you are most definitely encouraged to play! My latest addiction to word play is Scrabble as I enjoy shuffling my tiles about in hopes of seeing a word magically fall into place. While the actual physical game is still my favorite, the Facebook version has me hooked. I steal a moment or two each day to play new games with my online friends and simply adore how my vocabulary is growing. I sometimes get in a rut with words (like an old married couple, really) but this form of play allows me learn new ones in a challenging way and most of the time with only 7 letters to build and create!

This made me think of other fun ways to play with words and how old standbys seem to permeate generations. Who remembers Mad Libs? As a child, I used to pack up my Mad Libs for long school field trip drives and would giggle with classmates as our random selection of nouns, verbs, and adjectives became humorous stories about elephants driving purple turnip wagons and the like. Games like Mad Libs sparked my love of word play at an early age that is sure to continue to lazy Sunday afternoons with assorted crossword puzzles when my sweetheart and I retire someday.

Another popular form of fun is one that continues to bring out the poet in us all. When is the last time you walked passed a fridge without those adorable little magical, I mean magnetic, words? Magnetic Poetry is available in just about any topic you choose to play with your words. I even have a set totally dedicated to my favorite comic book, Bone.

I find that if I'm wrapping my mind around words in playful ways, it stretches those writing muscles in a direction I might not have gone otherwise. So tell me, how do you play?


  1. I loved Boggle as a kid! And I am so glad to hear that these word games on facebook help stretch our minds for writing because now I don't feel so guilty for wasting time on there. LOL

    By the way, Debbie (and any other WOW! readers/writers), I tried to find you on facebook. Email me so we can hook up or use my email address to find me on facebook!

    Margo Dill

  2. Another Boggle lover here. :) I also do crossword puzzles daily. My day is wrong without it!

    I used Mad Libs to help teach my girls what nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. are. It's a fun way to learn that stuff.

    In my 2nd grader's class, we're doing centers, playing a revised version of Scattergories:. Say the chosen letter is "T" --then they have three minutes to write down as many "t" words as they can that are nouns, or adjectives, or whatever.


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