So you're not particularly passionate about words or language? You can't understand the weird compulsion of crossword puzzlers? The thought of using a dictionary doesn't thrill you to the core? Ok, perhaps not. :-)
But prepare to have fun, laugh, be surprised, and perhaps even be moved by some of the following resources!
Spellbound (2002) is a wonderful and prize-winning documentary film, following the progress of 14 year old competitors in the annual American Spelling Bee competition. A great insight into the kids and their families - both amusing and moving.
Wordplay (2006) is another documentary, introducing New York Times Editor and "NPR Puzzle Master", Will Short, and many of his brilliant and sometimes hilarious contributors. You'll also see the nail-biting tension and camaraderie of the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
Fun With Words is a website with over 500 pages of word puzzles, games, amazing lists, and fun facts.
Here's an amusing list of names that match people's professions - and these are all real people!
Melissa Kaplan's Beastly Garden of Wordy Delights lists animals with their collective nouns, sounds they make, and names for genders and offspring. It includes such gems as a congregation of alligators (listening avidly to sermons no doubt), a quiver of cobras (about to strike?) and, would you believe, a clutter of spiders! Hmm .. yes, it must be time to vaccuum behind the couch! :-)
Finally, listen to the TED Talk from lexicographer Erin McKean, who 'redefines the dictionary', then visit her Dictonary Evangelist blog. We loved the list of words we found there, created at the Pop!Tech conference. Especially "attachmeant: the file you have to resend because you forgot to attach it the first time". Now that's a word we can definitely use! :-)