Sleepy Winks - 10 January 2022
It was a dark and stormy night. So begins the long and increasingly convoluted prose of Edwards Bulwer-Lytton’s best-known novel. Today the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest asks contestants for fanciful first sentences that are similarly convoluted and over-the-top — often with hilarious results. Plus: George Orwell’s prescient novel 1984 gave us the terrifying image of Big Brother and helped popularize words like doublespeak and Orwellian. And is there a word for fallen snow while leaves still remain on the trees? Also: motor vs. engine, capitol vs. capital, wannabe vs. wannabee, scrape acquaintance, a quiz about words that link other words, Tutivillis, skell gel, complementary alternation discourse constructions, and words for “eye boogers” in Hungarian, French, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Scots, and English.
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