I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we pick a certain word to portray our intent. What is the nuance you are looking for as you create a scene? What is the tone you are hoping to achieve? This whole thought process led me to thinking you might enjoy hearing about word games my father and I play. We’ve had one game going for nearly 35 years. We recently started a new one, but my dad has said he’s bored with it. I’ll let you decide.
The first game, the old and true one, we’ve dubbed it the “Para” game. The rules are these:
You have to create a pun of sorts;
You have to supply a clue to the creation of a new word that always has the new word begin with “para;”
Hang in with me here. You get it in a minute;
The clue always is in a multiple so that “para” is also a pun of “pair of.”
Here are two examples so you see what I mean.
What would five nickels be? Answer: Paradigms
What would two state cops be? Answer: Paratroupers
The new game, which as I said my father is now bored with, has to do with finding words that are spelled exactly the same but can mean very different things. No fair using what we call derivatives. We both have veto power over the other. A derivative is when the base (that word you think would qualify) is actually the same as your new meaning. I’ll give an example below.
Okay choices: Blind- you can be without sight or you can be hunting ducks.
Root- you can dig this up in your yard or cheer on the home team.
Present- I don’t have to explain this one.
A derivative example that my dad has vetoed on me: Right- you can be right as in correct or take a right turn or even right a chair that has fallen over. But, they all come from the Latin ‘dextra’ as does our word dexterous. He claims it doesn’t count. I disagree. Your call on this, as the whole conversation is a made-up game.
My list is long as we’ve been playing this one for a few months. I’m not going to reveal (another one that I think qualifies) them all. It’s now your turn.
Want to play? Pick either game or both. I’d love to add your words to my notebook.