The Globe and Mail: Getting together to make up words

In a review on collective writing projects published today in Globe and Mail, Verbotomy is described as “the most entertaining” and as “a word-invention game of the sort you’ll find in quality publications”.

The review which appears in an article titled “Wikibook = Wikibomb” was written by Tivor Tossell, a columnist who writes for “Seven” the weekly entertainment review published by the Globe and Mail, Canada’s National Newspaper.

Tossell does an analysis of several online collective projects including A Million Penguins by Penguin Books,,,, and Verbotomy. The print article features a screen shot of the Verbotomy website with the caption: “ succeeds because it only ask writers to invent a single word.” After reviewing the each of the other collective writing projects, Tossell concludes with his take on Verbotomy:

Which knocks us down to the lowest rung on the ladder, which, as it happens, is the most entertaining: getting together to make up words. At, users play a word-invention game of the sort you’ll find in quality publications. Every weekday, artist and programmer James Gang posts an illustrated definition; players compete to invent a word to describe it. Most of the results are puns and most of the puns are terrible, which, being puns, only makes them better.

To wit: A third wheel, invited to stay by a couple despite manifest awkwardness, is a “matecrasher.” Emotional frustration at e-mail being returned to sender is “emailaise.” Feeling disappointment at a stupid mistake is to be “blunderstruck.” Think you can do worse? Step right up.

See the full story: Wikibook = Wikibomb

Special congratulations to Steveson0 (matecrasher), Clayton (emailise) and Rikboyee (blunderstruck) for getting their words quoted in the article.

One thought on “The Globe and Mail: Getting together to make up words”

  1. So cool!

    Being the newcomer, though, I defer to all the others. They should’ve included twenty more words, at least.

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