full transcript
From the Ted Talk "Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anybody who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you loev a word, use it. That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction. It doesn't make a word any more real than any other way. If you love a word, it becomes real. So if we're not worrying about eirtcgdni traffic, if we've transcended paper, if we are worrying less about control and more about description, then we can think of the English language as being this beautiful iolmbe. And any time one of those little parts of the mobile changes, is touched, any item you touch a word, you use it in a new context, you give it a new connotation, you verb it, you make the mobile move. You didn't abekr it. It's just in a new position, and that new position can be just as beautiful.

Open Cloze

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anybody who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you ____ a word, use it. That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction. It doesn't make a word any more real than any other way. If you love a word, it becomes real. So if we're not worrying about _________ traffic, if we've transcended paper, if we are worrying less about control and more about description, then we can think of the English language as being this beautiful ______. And any time one of those little parts of the mobile changes, is touched, any ____ you touch a word, you use it in a new context, you give it a new connotation, you verb it, you make the mobile move. You didn't _____ it. It's just in a new position, and that new position can be just as beautiful.

Solution

  1. mobile
  2. directing
  3. love
  4. break
  5. time

Original Text

And so people say to me, "How do I know if a word is real?" You know, anybody who's read a children's book knows that love makes things real. If you love a word, use it. That makes it real. Being in the dictionary is an artificial distinction. It doesn't make a word any more real than any other way. If you love a word, it becomes real. So if we're not worrying about directing traffic, if we've transcended paper, if we are worrying less about control and more about description, then we can think of the English language as being this beautiful mobile. And any time one of those little parts of the mobile changes, is touched, any time you touch a word, you use it in a new context, you give it a new connotation, you verb it, you make the mobile move. You didn't break it. It's just in a new position, and that new position can be just as beautiful.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
online dictionaries 5
ham butt 5
traffic cop 4
butt problem 4
rocket science 3
paper dictionaries 3
english language 3
bad words 3
american english 3

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
ham butt problem 4

Important Words

  1. artificial
  2. beautiful
  3. book
  4. break
  5. connotation
  6. context
  7. control
  8. description
  9. dictionary
  10. directing
  11. distinction
  12. english
  13. give
  14. language
  15. love
  16. mobile
  17. move
  18. paper
  19. parts
  20. people
  21. position
  22. read
  23. real
  24. time
  25. touch
  26. touched
  27. traffic
  28. transcended
  29. verb
  30. word
  31. worrying