Throughout recorded history, mankind has turned to language play as a source of entertainment and intellectual stimulation. This unique new reference provides comprehensive listings and explainations, together with samples and historical information, concerning the hundreds of letter and word games, puzzles, and linguistic entertainments that enrich our cultural life.
In an introductory section, the author discusses the various ways of manipulating words and letters and the relation of this pastime to literature, linguistics, education and humor. He comments on the use of word-play techniques in the teaching of language arts, noting their demonstrated benefits in stimulating creativity and motivating the unwilling student. Turning to the literary uses of language play, he talks about writersfrom Shakespeare, Dickens, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein to the dadaists, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and various contemporary literary artistswhose linguistic devices run the gamut from riddles, acrostics, cross-word puzzles, and anagramsare considered, along with individual and group games intended to entertain, teach skills, or challenge the imagination or intellect.