In the category of "Why didn't I think of this?" is the story of two dudes from the University of Ulster-Belfast who had the brilliant idea of creating an online database of the Oxford English Dictionary and allowing people to buy a word.
The Big Word Project is the result of Paddy + Lee's efforts - a site where you can stake a claim on a word. Any word in the dictionary can be yours for just a buck a letter.
Warning: if you have a word obsession, DON'T GO.
Minutes and hours will slip by as you discover that idiot is linked to this Wikipedia page, while nerd goes to the site of very talented web designer Jenna Roddy (check out her awesome work on Fly & The Great Emotion). You'll find that orgasm goes to BBC Focus, a science and technology monthly, and that return goes to a site created by the Auxilary Markings Club, which tracks esoteric stamps on returned mail.
You'll also find lots of junky links and spam; it's easy enough to avoid those by mousing over the word and looking at the URL so you don't waste time clicking around.
Of course I had to have my own word. A word is the ultimate accessory for a writer, don't you think? I'm Jennifer, and you can find me in the dictionary under X. Slick.
But "the" word, like the perfect shade of lip gloss or a pair of jeans that flatters all the right places, is far more difficult to find than it seems: writer is taken. As is copywriter, by a guy from the UK with a great portfolio. Editor has also been snapped up, but I wasn't too disappointed, because that word is sooo boring.
What is "the one" word that best defines what I do? I tried imagine; it was taken. As was create; ditto for storyteller.
I finally came up with communicator.
Bing! The first line of my resume says: I'm passionate about communication, and I am. At a dinner party a few weeks ago, someone asked me if I felt like it was my duty to "elevate" the dialogue of marketing by using big words. I told him that no, I felt like it was my duty to get the message across by using humor, wit and story, and that I like simple language the best because more people can understand it. He wasn't impressed. Fine.
So I'm a communicator. But: it isn't perfect - I mean, it's not very exciting, right? It's kind of mechanical sounding. It conjures up a vision of a drone behind a keyboard. How-can-the-communicator-help-you-today.
My brain is itching to find a better word, but I can't spend any more time on the Big Word site or I'll never get any work done. The communicator must return to communicating. Ergh, I'm tired of it already.
+ Check the Big Word blog for some fun word play
Hey baby, what's your word?