January 29, 2006

Mousetrap - 38

Verbivores only
Luciferous Logolepsy
“Dragging obscure words into the light of day.”With a motto like that, I don’t really have to tell you what the site is about. But hey, this noble publication actually sends me a money (sort of) to write this column, a practice one seeks encourage, so one must macarise the countercasters and deliver a full complement of words. The site lists and defines over 9,000 words, with a self-confessed leaning towards the archaic, because they “tend to be more evocative – as if their very age lends additional meaning or overtones.” It’s a wonderful treasure house for students and lovers of the language. If you just want a little fascinating reading, pick a letter from the menu, click, close eyes, scroll down blind, and read the first few words you see. To find a word related to a term you know, there’s a convenient search option. Oh yes. The site name. I’ll save you the look up. It means “an illuminating obsession with words.”

More for the logolepts
Worthless Word for the day
A site with its heart in the same place as the previous one. Except that this one takes itself less seriously. No reflection on the quality of the content, though. In fact it scores higher in my book because it offers context and examples of usage. And, as the name suggests, it has a fresh offering every day. And yes, there’s a good search function too. Negatives: the archives are selected, and not comprehensive. There is a complete word list, but that only offers definitions. And the site’s frames, architecture and generally layout are, well, not the best. [Link courtesy: Megha Murthy]

Spring has sprung
Asinine Poetry
(And quick link to show you that we don’t have intellectual pretensions after all. Well, not too many.) Bad poetry is easy to find online. Heck, be nice to me and I might even show you where I hide mine. Anyway, thanks to the easy availability of free web space, blogs and the like, everything that sensible publishers reject can find a home, and an audience. Theoretically. But I digress. Asinine Poetry, says this site is “Not necessarily bad; mostly kinda funny.” And they deliver. Read via their list of contributors, or stroll around at random. Rewarding any way you choose. And the site also hosts contests. There’s one for asinine haiku open right now. Let’s see.. Web columnist fancies / Fifty dollar prize: / newspaper doesn’t pay enough. What say?

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This week’s blog

We are like this, what to do
Dick & Garlick
That rare and welcome creature, a blog that discourses with both wit and erudition on the various regional strains of Indian English and street slang, and the resulting neologisms, mixing links and citations with his own views. One character flaw, though. The chap behind it seems to take really long breaks. He’s on one now, the second since I first began following the site, and I’m hoping that this will bring him back. Well-written blog. Go visit and pprod him into posting again. And while you’re there, ask him to explain the name. I think I have it, but if I’m right, I can’t reproduce it here.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to http://o3.indiatimes.com/mousetrap for past columns, and to comment, or mail inthemousetrap@indiatimes.com. The writer blogs at http://zigzackly.blogspot.com.

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 29th January, 2006.

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