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"Hey, Mr. Toad - Can't thank you enough for the excellent work you did to improve the functioning of my eCommerce website. You were also very successful in strengthening the security of the site and eliminating hacker-related problems. I was very impressed and would recommend you highly. Thanks a million for all your help. "
Ann Wamack
awamack@yahoo.com

WORD PLAY

Basically this is a links page, none of which require membership, registration or payment. However Toad is happy to, for example, select the best anagrams (using the link below) from a name or phrase that you may wish to provide him with - or any other task you have in mind based on some form of word manipulation.

1.    It is with something approaching awe that I refer to Michael Quinion's "World Wide Words" website at http://www.worldwidewords.org/index.htm - because this is the way the internet was MEANT to be ("Stop shouting, Toad"). Find out how words and phrases evolved, where those weird spellings came about and so on. Warning - this website will educate and enlighten. Do try it at home.

2.    http://wordsmith.org/anagram/index.html ... Just type in a word or phrase and you will be presented with an extensive list of phrase the letters of which comprise an anagram of the original letters that you typed in. So you can find anagrams of someone's name - for example, "Diana Princess of Wales" might become "Sirs, pine A solaced fawn" or "A special, sad, finer swan".

OK, my efforts are not too great - but the process of trying to find a pithy and satisfying anagram is pleasurable in itself. The old saw of "it's the journey that's important, not the destination" would seem to apply. Of course it's 'machine made' and although you will get plenty of useful possibilities, it needs a human (or possibly a Toad) to look at the results and put them into some sort of context.

Toad also recommends that you click on "Other Services" at the top of the page for various interesting options - for example there is a very nice forum to investigate. Did you realise that 'Elvis' is an anagram of 'Lives'! Here are some others listed on the website:

Schoolmaster = The classroom
Listen = Silent
Clint Eastwood = Old West Action
Madam Curie = Radium came
A telephone girl = Repeating "Hello"
Western Union = No Wire Unsent
The country side = No City Dust Here

And don't blame Toad for this one ("Nought to do wi' me!"):
Mother-in-law = Woman Hitler.

You can find more of these on the "Anagram Hall of Fame" page.

3.    http://www.visuwords.com/ ... Typing in a word allows you to see its meanings and associations with other words and concepts - visually. The implementation of the resulting applet is absolutely superb and is undoubtedly worth seeing at least once. 'Visuword' uses Princeton University’s 'WordNet', an opensource database built by University students and language researchers.

4.    http://www.writerhymes.com/ ... Provides masses of words, neatly categorised with regard to the number of syllables they contain, which rhyme with the word you type in - as you press down the 'Alt' key. Don't forget to press the 'Alt' key (that was for the hard of hearing).

5.    http://www.chris.com/ASCII/ ... the esoteric art of forming pictures from ASCII characters. Transfering them to another program is usually difficult - great care must be exercised in the choice of font if hugely distorted pictures are to be avoided. Another good example is at: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/7373/indexjava.htm.

Yes, it is easy to find websites which can make an ASCII picture automatically, starting with an image that you upload from your local drive - but you may feel that the results are inferior in terms of subtlety and in terms of art.

6.    http://www.synonym.com/synonyms/fashionable%20/ ... synonyms, antonyms and definitions of any word you can think of. It's an efficient, simple and useful site. So it goes on the list.

7.    http://www.revfad.com/flip.html ... Yes, it works a treat, but I guess it's just a gimmick really. Anything you type in can immediately be flipped upside down - but if I put the results into a text editor I find that my program hasn't got half of the fonts that are needed to use the results in any sort of practical way.

8.    Hey, why are you not concentrating?! Perhaps you need to visit SimplyNoise.com. White noise in the background can take the edge off that traffic noise (or whatever) that is distracting you.

9.    http://crickler.com/crickler.html ... "Cricklers are a new type of word puzzle. (They) set out to totally re-invent the crossword puzzle for the computer age. Traditional crossword puzzles are incredibly successful but they have several serious drawbacks: (1) They are difficult to construct, (2) Most words are short and often silly - chosen only because they fit, (3) Matching clues to numbers is a distraction, and (4) A given puzzle is usually either too easy or too hard.

Cricklers solve all of these problems while retaining the essence and feel of a traditional crossword puzzle. Cricklers adapt: they become easier or harder depending on the skill of the solver. Words are chosen by the designer - the computer takes care of fitting them together. Clues and answers sit side by side.". That's what they say on the site - believe me, you'll be entranced. So many different types of puzzle to try.

All rights reserved. The author also asserts his Moral Rights to this article, "WORD PLAY" and warrants that he is the sole owner and creator of same. You may quote no more than the first 250 words before providing a link to Toad Tryouts. The author's TERMS AND CONDITIONS also apply.



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2 comments:

  1. Noga Sklar says

    cool. can I use it as free reference in my books? rsrs
    will publish a link on my blog.


    Toad Tryouts says

    "You're very welcome," says the Toad
    - grateful for the link bestowed.

    The comment above is by Noga Sklar
    A Brazilian writer and 'superstar'!
    ___________________________________

    Her current project (in her own words):

    "Na KindleBookBr a gente edita, formata e publica seu livro para o Kindle. Seu livro em português na Kindle Store da Amazon, disponível para o Brasil e o mundo, sem fio, em 60 segundos? Só com a KindleBookBr, a sua conversion house no Brasil. Publique com a gente você também. www.kindlebook.com.br".

    Her company is offering a digitilisation service so that texts can be read using Amazon's Kindle. Now there's a thought. Maybe you should polish up that novel you wrote a while back and get it published at last - via Kindle!


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