December 30th, 2013

2013 in Review

It’s not been a bad year for words. Admittedly some people got a bit too caught up in the excitement of new additions to the dictionary like “selfie” and “twerk” – I’m looking at you, Barack and Miley. But the ranks of wordnerds swelled, and we’ve shared some luscious linguistic times. For those of you who missed a few along the way, or want to reminisce, here are some of That Word Site’s top 2013 moments:

We learned why we’re on tenterhooks, why we talk the hind legs off donkeys, and why we’re sometimes plum crazy.  You loved ayurnamat, sclaff and…what’s that word again, on the tip of my tongue…ah yes, tintiddle. You were even fond of pineapple. But it was old favourite sgiomlaireachd which remained your favourite word this year.

Mark Twain’s dry wit tickled your fancy, but our most popular words of wisdom this year came from Lewis Carroll – “You used to be much more…”muchier”. You’ve lost your muchness.”

But it was the articles lovingly crafted by our wordnerds, our “words on words”, which gave us our highlights. Our writers gave us tours of their bookshelves, explained how words had shaped their identities, and mused the necessity of the apostrophe. They got a little saucy, a little sporty, and were occasionally lost in translation. We had fun with films for wordnerds of all ages. We were scared senseless. And oh, how they loved to experiment with words. We’ve played with pangrams, been through a bad spell and had a few rejection letters. Sometimes we left letters out entirely.

In the end, there was of course a favourite article this year. One that stood out from all the rest. It is appropriate that it is about a love of language that brings people together – in the same way that we hope ThatWordSite brings us together, in this little corner of the internet that wordnerds can call home. Still not sure which it could be? I’ll give you a clue…

So a happy, joyful, merry, festive, wondrous, pleasant, exciting (puts down thesaurus) New Year to you all. We’ll be right here with even more words in 2014.

IMG_20131229_224608

November 6th, 2012

2B or not 2B

by Chris Hancock

The purpose of this site is primarily the glorification of words.  But for the words to exist, somebody has to write them.  In this technological age, everything is typed on a multitude of electronic devices – when was the last time you wrote anything longer than a signature by hand?  In that context, some of the writing implements we formerly used are taking on a mythical, faintly ridiculous quality.

As an analogy, older readers may recall a popular record made by American comedian Bob Hewhart, about the introduction of tobacco to the civilised world by Sir Walter Raleigh. In it, Newhart (as Raleigh) explained the bizarre usage: “you take some of the leaves, roll them up into a paper tube, put the tube in your mouth… and set fire to it”.