The writer’s lament these days (one of them, anyway) is how many temptations the computer offers. Whenever I stumble over a block on the road to completion, there’s a captivating distraction just a few clicks away.
Okay, it’s my lament AND my delight. And now it can be yours, thanks to the dear readers who sent me these links.
“Bead Ranger Doll.” No, it’s not a fearsome jewelry-making action figure, it’s an anagram for my name. “Ban Inert Elites”—that’s Albert Einstein. “Normal Miner, Yo”—Marilyn Monroe, a nom de cinema that contains her real first name, Norma, I just now realized.
Now you too can generate a mile-long list of anagrams for your own name. Just visit the anagrams page of Wordsmith.org.
Here is a truly cool graphic depiction of the language of American Presidents. Beginning with the speeches of John Adams (1797-1801), it tracks the 100 most-used words of each chief executive. John Adams’ favorites: assembly, constitution, foundation, representation, republics, sober and wise. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1938 State of the Union: economic, fact, labor, purchasing, tax, agriculture, democratic. George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union: Iraq, terrorists, economy, Baghdad, Qaeda. Are you scared yet?
As the great language maven Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “eThay imitslay ofyay ymay anguagelay eanmay ethay imitslay ofyay ymay orldway.” That’s “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world,” put through a Pig Latin translator. Before my world shrinks to all distractions, all the time, I’d better get back to work!