Published on Sunday, April 07, 2013 in , , , , ,

Natalie Roberts' magnetic poetry photoLast Sunday, I posted about wordplay in the context of memory challenges.

Wordplay is a far richer field than you may expect, so how about a look at wordplay just for the sake of wordplay?

Let's warm your brain up with a few word puzzles, shall we? Puzzles.com has several great word puzzles, and many are easy if you think of them in the proper way. The challenge, of course, is getting to that way.

If you think about it, the history of languages is wordplay in and of itself. Words get used, misused, understood, and misunderstood as they travel from culture to culture, eventually leading to their modern meanings. TED-Ed.com's recent series of videos, Mysteries of Vernacular, each of which focus on a single word, teach about some fascinating word origins. My favorite, at this writing, is the one about the origin of the word CLUE:

If you're not already familiar with the myth, watch Jim Henson's Storyteller: Greek Myths - Theseus and the Minotaur here.

Probably the best regular resource for wordplay would have to be Word Ways, a quarterly journal that's been in publication since 1968, started after Martin Gardner first suggested the idea. PDFs of every article are available via the Butler University's digital comons, although accessing the most recent 8 issues require an account. You can access text versions of the most recent issues via thefreelibrary.com, but being text versions, illustrations are naturally missing.

One of the great things about Word Ways is that, even though it's focus is words, the variety of wordplay is astounding. Regular Grey Matters regular will enjoy a wide variety of articles on words mixed with math, mnemonics, and magic. This is one of those cases where you should simply spend time exploring, and let yourself get lost in articles that grab your attention.

What are some of your favorite types of wordplay and wordplay resources? Let me hear about them in the comments!

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