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December 25 , 2007

The Wondrous Wacky World of Words


How are you on words? Do you know your oxymorons from your tautologies; your alliterations from your euphemisms; your acronyms from your homonyms; or your onomatopoeias from your palindromes? Is 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' a nonce word or a nonsense word? Can you create neologisms by prefixing, suffixing, back-forming, compounding, and blending with the best of them? Can you define the word 'word' without using the word 'word'? Do you know what it means to munch a brick or bend someone’s ear? Is a 'fire distinguisher' a spoonerism or a malapropism? Are you a logophile, an etymologist, a lexicologist, a philologist, a logologist, a linguist or just someone who enjoys a walk in the park?

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If you know the answers to all these questions, you’ve no need to read this essay. If not, read on and be amused, amazed and ameliorated.

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