Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy 15

Last week was the quindecennial (15th anniversary) of Wordsmith.org when Anu Garg sent out the first word of the day to a handful of grad students. 4000 words and 700,000 subscribers later he presented 5 15 letter words and the challenge to craft definitions of 15 letters for each. (I should have posted the contest!)

But, anyway, here's the results with catchy succinct definitions that are more likely to stick with you than standard definitions :-) (Though, admittedly, the opportunity to use the words won't crop up too often ;-)


From Anu Garg:

Last week's contest to define the words in 15 letters generated tremendous enthusiasm. Many teachers discussed the contest in their classes and shared definitions from their students. More than 2000 readers sent one or more entries filled with creativity, humor, and lateral thinking.

It wasn't easy to select the winners from so many outstanding suggestions. Listed below are the winning entries which have each gained an autographed copy of one of my books.


Subintelligitur

Winner:

An idea alluded to. -Karyl Davis (karyl.davis lackland.af.mil)

Honorable mentions:
  • Don't say it. I get it. -Virginia Davidson (vdavidson50 hotmail.com)
  • Kenned sotto voce. -Chiron (chiron godhammer.com)
  • You should know it. -Susan Frost (richandsuzi yahoo.com)
  • Virtually stated. -Albert D. (filiquark yahoo.com)
  • Obvio sin decirlo. -Steven Fuller (sfuller garfieldre2.org)
  • Ca va sans dire - duh! -Margaret Cox (mocox1 cox.net)
  • No words required. (Anu Garg's worst nightmare!) -Monica Porterfield (mporterfield mltvacations.com)
  • Obvious ergo mute. -Paul B. Calico (pbcalico strausstroy.com)
  • Don't spell it out. -Brianna Sims (brianna.sims gmail.com)
  • Read my lips, dummy. -Jonathan Danilowitz (jon-dan 013.net)
  • Under the liminal. -Daniel Pesta (towardus comcast.net)
  • Doesn't need sayin'. -David Honigmann (david_honigmann mckinsey.com)
  • Said but not aloud. -Jonathan Weiss (jweiss1999 aol.com)
  • Feel it in my bones. -Edie Bonferraro (edieb mailbug.com)
  • A tacit knowledge -Rachel Blau DuPlessis (rdupless temple.edu)
  • Shhh. I understand. -Justin Peniston (moose0225 aol.com)
  • I get your message. -Judith Henderson (judyframehend aol.com)
  • I comprehend. *Wink* -Dan Marlowe (sisyphus42 gmail.com)
  • No need to mention. -Julie Southern (southernbookworm hotmail.com)
  • You know, I know, shh! -Liza Levy (sparkydoc kyk.net)
  • Inferred w/o a word. -Jeff Miller (jdmiller milligan.edu)
  • Don't need to say it. -Gabby Kissane (gkissane gmail.com)
  • The ways of a woman. -Gordon Havens (gordonhavens hotmail.com)
  • Many readers sent these suggestions:
  • Between the lines
  • Not said, but known.
  • Don't tell me - I know!
  • Not said, yet known.
  • Implicitly known.
  • Heard but not said.
  • Ya know what I mean.
  • Known sans speech.

Lepidopterology

Winner:

To see life flit by. -Julie Paschkis (jpaschkis comcast.net)

Honorable mentions:
  • Life after cocoon. -Edie Bonferraro (edieb mailbug.com)
  • Study of flitters. -Rebecca Haaland (rebecca emsp.no)
  • About winged bugs. -Vaishali Kamath (vaishalikamath hotmail.com)
  • Flitterers study. -John A. Olmsted (jolmsted exchange.fullerton.edu)
  • Study live jewels. -Kate Daniel (writerkate earthlink.net)
  • What cute insects! -David M. Lieberfarb (dmlieb optonline.net)
  • Nabokov's leisure. -Stephen Schwartz (hillendari hotmail.com)
  • Study of farfalle. -Riccardo Fragnoli (riccardo.fragnoli mpsa.com)
  • i.e. Geek moth-ology. -James Miller (millnjam yahoo.com)
  • Focus: Flutterers. -Don Recker (dlrecker nwinfo.net)
  • On gossamer wings. -Uwe Stichert (info language-coaching.net
  • Splendor impaled. -Zack Fisher (zackipooh gmail.com) [He adds: While this is not the actual definition of lepidopterology, I remember thinking just that the first time I saw a butterfly collection, as a child.]
  • Buttermothology. -Judi Jones (judith.jones pncbank.com)
  • Science a-flutter. -Nyree Sharp (nyree_sharp yahoo.com)
  • Wee wing scrutiny. -Daniel Watson (dwatson illustratus.com)
  • Etude de papillon. -Gabby Kissane (gkissane gmail.com)
  • Re Papilionoidea. -Joe Dickey (joetdickey yahoo.com)
  • Study of cute bugs. -Terence Singh (terencesi nedbank.co.za)
  • Winged bugs study. -Jonathan Osborne (jono fullemployment.org)
  • Ciencia Mariposa. -John Connors (john.connors cengage.com)
  • Of the mothly crew. -Vicki Boyd (vickeeb gmail.com)
  • Volar bug studies. -Stephanie Hollenback (stephanietraylor hotmail.com)
  • Look! On the flower! / Look! Near the lamp! -Jeanne Landkamer (jeanne.landkamer metc.state.mn.us)
  • Moth examination. -Laura Richens (lrichens tulane.edu)
  • Many readers sent these:
  • Fluttery studies.
  • Butterflies et al.
  • Moth scholarship.
  • Moth and kin study.

Mathematicaster

Winner:

2nd rate math geek. -Greg Foster (lokesman gmail.com)

Honorable mentions:
  • Ramanujan manque. -Eric Towne (etowne bates.edu)
  • A minor math major. -Howard Distelzweig (howard_distelzweig pall.com)
  • He divides by zero. -Peirce Hammond (Peirce.Hammond ed.gov)
  • Rounds pi to three. -Joselyne Gonzalez (joselyne yahoo.com)
  • Uneven math maven. -Catherine Masters (cmasters schiffhardin.com)
  • He's no Pythagoras. -Jacquie L Lowell (jlowell.improv juno.com), Dave Zobel (dzobel alumni.caltech.edu)
  • Two plus two's five. -R. Ganesh (r.ganesh iflexsolutions.com)
  • No Euclid or Gauss. -Devika Nair (devikanair1979 hotmail.com)
  • Digits: all thumbs. -Jason Morgan (aeelectra yahoo.com)
  • In-add-equatician. -Brendon L. Etter (better carleton.edu)
  • Can do two plus two. -Matt Schmidt (mschmidt hussoninc.com)
  • Math challenged. (I could have made it "maths challenged" but I prefer the irony of the above.) -Alan Broom (alan.broom macquarie.com)
  • Numbers Are Not Us. -Colleen (argonauta4 aol.com)
  • IQ's greater than pi. -Bill Ward (bill wards.net)
  • Bank executive, e.g. (not a timeless definition, but it works currently). -Aaron Long (aarondavidlong hotmail.com)
  • Just a calculator. -Tal Cohen (tal forum2.org)
  • One does not add up. -Mike Freedman (mike freedthinkers.com)
  • A nonplussed soul. -K. F. Turtletaub (doctorkf verizon.net)
  • Calculably unfit. -John Hudspeth (johnhudspeth windstream.net)
  • Big sum, small mind. -Caroline Murphy (ckmurphy54 hotmail.com)
  • An amateur at math. -John P. Marhin (john.p.marhin mainroads.qld.gov.au)
  • 0 < x < a math savant. -Greg Foster (lokesman gmail.com)
  • 99 percent of folk. -Kassy Daggett (kdaggett efn.org)
  • rkathleendillon. -R Kathleen Dillon (rkdillon verizon.net)
  • Math isn't my forte. -Kevin Ogburn (kevin.ogburn co.hennepin.mn.us)
  • Calculating Risk. -David Lehner-Smith (david.lehner-smith target.com)
  • Small-time mathmo. -Owen Biesel (owenbiesel gmail.com)
Many readers sent:
  • Number numbskull.
  • Math geek wannabe.
  • No good at numbers.
  • A numbers bumbler.
  • A numbers fumbler.

Dermatoglyphics

Winner:

Digital printout. -Judith Bill (jgb22 comcast.net)

Honorable mention:
  • How callous are we? -Will Whetzel (wwhetzel mssadvisors.com)
  • Palm/foot reading. -Jeff Miller (jdmiller milligan.edu)
  • Epidermis scrawl -Kathleen (stidmama yahoo.com)
  • Digital imagings. -Jason Nabi (jhn8d virginia.edu) and Wendi Dumbroff (penelopey aol.com)
  • Unique digital ID. -Ian Hoffman (Ian.Hoffman usdoj.gov)
  • Skin cartography. -K. Sahasranaman (k.sahasranaman gmail.com)
  • No hands are alike. -Sophia S. 6th grader, Community Middle School [sent by James Eng (james.eng ww-p.org) who encouraged his class to try this week's contest and shared their many entries]
  • Skin crop-circles. -Matthew Planchak (panqike gmail.com), Alexis Abraham (cawaaahome aol.com)
  • No two are the same. -Mike Hansen (mfh papermc.com)
  • The skin's pattern. -Carly, 4th grader [in Erin Allen's class (eallen howell.k12.nj.us)]
  • Study of skin ruts. -Peter Kidwell (peter.kidwell cox.net)
  • Skin's hills, dales. -Noël Lee (noellee free.fr)
  • Palmar, plantar ID. -Lisa Hyatt Cooper (lhcooper verizon.net)
  • Skin deep studies. -Kenneth Kirste (kkkirste sbcglobal.net)
  • Think whorl piece. -Matt Schuette (schuette79 hotmail.com)
  • What OJ fears most. -Analiese van den Dikkenberg (sandad hotmail.com)
Many readers sent:
  • Hand- or footprint.
  • Extremity prints.
  • Finger, toe prints.
  • Skin ridges study.

Infundibuliform

I had not asked for 15-letter definitions for Monday's word, but some readers sent them nonetheless. Here are a few selections:
  • Tapered like a 3-D V. -Louis P. Nappen (nappen comcast.net)
  • Just like a conoid. -Julie Davis (julie.davis ssa.gov)
  • Tornado-ish shape. -Mike Riley (mr.mikeriley gmail.com)
  • Swirls into point. -Susan Frost (richandsuzi yahoo.com)
  • Hourglass halved. -Don Recker (dlrecker nwinfo.net)
  • It's funnelicious! -Keith Parsons (khp38120 aol.com)
  • Smaller at one end. -Joe Trivers (joe_trivers amat.com)
Many subscribers sent their congratulations (a 15-letter word) in exactly 15 letters:
  • A Happy Fifteenth. -Mike Weinert (weinert.mike bls.gov)
  • I wish you the best. -Michel Cornelissen (mjm.cornelissen gmail.com)
  • Best wishes to all. -BranShea (via Wordsmith Talk bulletin board)
Thank you for participating and for your kind words.
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