James chats with Petaj, winner of the inaugural Verbotomy Cup
James: Congratulations on your win! You are the very first player ever to win a Verbotomy Cup! Here are the final stats: https://www.verbotomy.com/verbotomists.php?week=2007-04-23
Petaj: I was so excited to win the inaugural Verbotomy Cup. Keeping track of my lead over the days led to a bit of clixation. Anyone would think I had refretish.
James: I donâ€™t doubt that at allâ€¦ Have you decided which Veroboticism you want printed on your Verbotmy Cup?
Petaj: A couple have asked which verbotomy I’ll choose to have on the cup, so I’ve given it some thought. Since “Insultant” was such a popular choice and it’s from last week I think it had better have the honours.
James: Yes, that would be terrific, or perhaps even terrfiying, at the office.
Petaj: I’m looking forward to trading in my old mug at work.
James: And speaking of work, we recently posted another one of your definitions, which happens to be office-related.
DEFINITION: To create an illusion of busyness so that your co-workers, and most importantly your boss, never realize that you have absolutely nothing to do.
Create a Word or Read the Words
Petaj: Thanks very much.
James: So what do you do?
Petaj: I’m a systems librarian.
James: Wow! No wonder youâ€™re so smart. Do you think that Verbotomy is helping you sharpen your creative thinking skills?
Petaj: I spend quite a bit of time looking at ways to be innovative with technology in delivering library and information services. Verbotomy is exercise for the brain.
James: Dan Pink would love to hear you say that!
Petaj: And I think it helps me with cryptic crosswords too.
James: Yes, itâ€™s a word game! By the way, I see that your have created over 100 Verboticisms. Congratulations.
Petaj: Thanks very much.
James: So let me ask you a question about creativity. How do you come up with your words?
Petaj: Sometimes they just pop into my head, but more often I come up with 2 or 3 possibilities and then play around with them using a thesaurus.
James: Creative play with verbotomizing thesaurus! So thatâ€™s the secret! Does it work every time?
Petaj: Occasionally I just can’t come up with anything I like.
James: Like when?
Petaj: For example, ” vehiciouscircle” which I didn’t think would rate at all
James: That was a number one word-of-the-day, wasnâ€™t it?
Petaj: Topped the votes for that day.
James: Yes, itâ€™s funny how hard it is to judge your own creative work. One of the reasons I think that your words are so highly-rated, is that you always create a great story to go with your verboticisms. Where do you get your inspirations these stories? Is it from people you see at work or at home?
Petaj: I’m not sure I’m all that astute an observer, but I don’t usually base my stories on anyone in particular. I just let my imagination take over.
James: Really? Not based on true life? What about your famous dish-duty definition?
DEFINITION: A discussion among family members, or room mates, which often turns into a full-blown yelling match, and which seems to occur every night whenever it’s time to do the dishes.
Create a Word or Read the Words.
Petaj: Although my definition for fighting over the dish duties was inspired by real life debates over the dishwasher — they have never degenerated into browls!
James: Obviously, you are very a creative writer. Is this something that has always come naturally to you?
Petaj: I enjoyed creative writing years ago at school, but this is the only place I do it now.
James: What role do you think that the community of plays in the creative process.
Petaj: Absolutely. I think participating in a community like this gets the brain juices pumping. It’s a workout for the brain. And on a more pragmatic level, when I’m feeling a bit stuck, checking out what the other players have already created will give me a clue or two for consulting the thesaurus.
James: Are your fellow verbotomists helping you create your ideas?
Petaj: I particularly like it when players take the definition on a completely different tangent to the way I was thinking. It’s much more challenging. I have a few favourites. Purpleartichokes and Jabberwocky can be relied on to come up with some excellent words.
James: Yes they are wonderful writers. How do you decide which word to vote for?
Petaj: I like to wait for a good number of entries before I vote, and I like to see all of the entries not just ones in a single verbroom. So when the community is being very creative, I get clixation trying to view as many words as possible.
James: I know what you mean, Iâ€™m getting the feeling that youâ€™re going to make a suggestionâ€¦
Petaj: Yes, if all the words for a single day could be displayed randomly on one page (like a tag cloud, but without the weighting of course) that would make it much easier.
James: I love the tag cloud idea. It would be so cool. It may take a bit of time to develop it thoufghâ€¦ However, right now we do have a page that lists every word of the day in alphabetical order. Go to Verbotocracy: Today and select open. It will list every word of the day in alphabetical order. See:
Now this page doesnâ€™t show the sentences. If you want to see a complete listing with the details go to Verboticism RSS page. To get to is click on the RSS clicklet at the bottom of the Verboticism page. You can see the RSS output page here:
James: Any other suggestions?
Petaj: These splinterviews seem like a great way to feature players and don’t always have to be from a weekly winner.
James: Good idea. We’ll see if we can get more people involved. Thanks for participating in this splinterview.
Petaj: Thanks for the great game. It has generated a nice community of players.