Saturday, December 31, 2005


This idea was suggested as a game but each person needs a dictionary and there's a lot of flipping through pages involved so it may work better with a small group who love looking words up or as a solitary game.

Take a saying or short poem or short quote. Change all the nouns to the 7th word following it in the dictionary. (If the 7th word is a form of the original word (like mankind is a form of man) keep moving down the words until you get something bizarre.)

Save the best ones for writing prompts.

To get you started, here's a couple of haiku from Basho, one of the most famous haiku poets.
An old pond—
The sound of a frog jumping
into water.

The first cold shower;
Even the monkey seems to want
A little coat of straw.
And a couple of quotes from Basho:
"There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; There is nothing you can think that is not the moon."

"Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home."
There's also a huge list of aphorisms (short witty sayings) at Fortunes. NOTE: all the first ones are computer based. Keep scrolling until you see the first letter change to f or h or p.
b computer humor
c computer profound
f fortune cookies
h humorous
p profound/serious

The only online dictionary I know of that will show the words preceeding and following a word is The Free Dictionary. Type in a word or phrase. Click "Look it up". Then scroll down to the bottom of the page. The list of surrounding words is on the left. In fact it gives exactly 7 words before and 7 words after your word. Click on the last word in the lefthand list to get the next 7 words.
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