Word Ways

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Word Ways
Word Ways Vol. 46 № 4 (November 2013).svg
Cover of the November 2013 issue
EditorJeremiah Farrell
CategoriesRecreational linguistics
First issue1968
OCLC number1604435

Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics is a leading quarterly magazine on recreational linguistics, logology and word play. It was established by Dmitri Borgmann in 1968 at the behest of Martin Gardner.[1][2][3][4] Howard Bergerson took over as editor-in-chief for 1969, but stepped down when Greenwood Periodicals dropped the publication.[1][3][5] A. Ross Eckler Jr., a statistician at Bell Labs, became editor until 2006,[3][5] when he was succeeded by Jeremiah Farrell (Butler University).[6]

Word Ways was the first periodical devoted exclusively to word play, and has become the foremost publication in that field.[3][7] Lying "on the midpoint of a spectrum from popular magazine to scholarly journal",[5] it publishes articles on various linguistic oddities and creative use of language. This includes research into and demonstrations of anagrams, pangrams, lipograms, tautonyms, univocalics, word ladders, palindromes[8] and unusually long words,[4][5][9][10][11] as well as book reviews, literature surveys, investigations into questionable logological claims, puzzles and quizzes, mnemonics[12] and a small measure of linguistically oriented fiction.[5][13]

Bestselling language author Willard R. Espy discovered Word Ways in 1972, and eventually used material from several dozen articles in his Almanac of Words at Play anthologies.[9][14][15][16] The first of these included complete subscription details for Word Ways, which generated so many inquiries that for decades the publishers were reluctant to change their address.[17]

Current editorial board[edit]

  • Editor: Jeremiah Farrell, Butler University
  • Lacey Echols, Butler University
  • Kirstin L. Ellsworth, South Pasadena, California
  • Barbara Howes, Butler University
  • Katie Mohr, Wiley Publishing Company
  • David D. Wright, Hangzhou, China
  • Electronic Journal Publishing Assistant: Laina Ridenour, Butler University

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Eckler, A. Ross (2010). "Look back!". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 43 (3): 167–168.
  2. ^ Eckler, A. Ross (2010). "Word Ways: Making the alphabet dance (part one)". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 46 (3): 219–240.
  3. ^ a b c d Evans, Rod L. (2012). Tyrannosaurus Lex: The Marvelous Book of Palindromes, Anagrams, and Other Delightful and Outrageous Wordplay. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-1-101-58863-5.
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Dale D.; von Hoff Johnson, Bonnie; Schlichting, Kathleen (2004). "Logology: Word and language play". In Baumann, James F.; Kame'enui, Edward J. Vocabulary Instruction: Research to Practice. Guildford Press. p. 180. ISBN 1-57230-933-4.
  5. ^ a b c d e Winkel, Brian J. (1977). "Word Ways, a journal worth going your way". Cryptologia. 1 (3): 232–234. doi:10.1080/0161-117791832968.
  6. ^ Campbell, T. (2013). On Crosswords: Thoughts, Studies, Facts and Snark About a 100-Year-Old Pastime. Koehler Books. p. 117. ISBN 978-1938467462.
  7. ^ Gardner, Martin; Jennings, Ken (2010). Colossal Book of Wordplay. Puzzlewright. ISBN 978-1402765032.
  8. ^ Zuckermann, Ghil'ad (1998). "Lear's In Israel?". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 31 (2): 154–155.
  9. ^ a b Espy, Willard R. (1999). The Best of an Almanac of Words at Play. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-145-7.
  10. ^ Gardner, Martin (1995). New Mathematical Diversions. Mathematical Association of America. p. 248.
  11. ^ Lederer, Richard (1998). The Word Circus. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 978-0877793540.
  12. ^ Zuckermann, Ghil'ad (2011). "Mnemonics in Second Language Acquisition". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 44 (4): 302–309.
  13. ^ Marc Abrahams (December 17, 2012). "Wordplay proves a fruitful area for research". The Guardian. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  14. ^ Espy, Willard R. (1975). An Almanac of Words at Play. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 0-517-52463-5.
  15. ^ Espy, Willard R. (1981). Another Almanac of Words at Play. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 0-233-97288-9.
  16. ^ Espy, Willard R. (1982). A Children's Almanac of Words at Play. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 0-340-34852-6.
  17. ^ Eckler, A. Ross (1999). "Willard R. Espy, 1910–1999". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 32 (2): 83–84.

External links[edit]