LINGUIST List 12.3003

Sun Dec 2 2001

Qs: Word Games, Article/Book About Research

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.


  1. Zylogy, Television Word Game Show: Smush
  2. Nicos C. Sifakis, On the I-language

Message 1: Television Word Game Show: Smush

Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 17:21:48 EST
From: Zylogy <>
Subject: Television Word Game Show: Smush

In the last several days I've seen advertisements, for the USA television 
network, for a new game show called Smush. This word game essentially 
consists of forcing contestants to piece together strings of words with 
overlapping syllables (such as giraffe-afro-rogaine = girafferogaine, or 
something to that effect however one would spell it). This concept is 
probably familiar to anyone who does too many crossword puzzles.

In addition there have been several other advertisements for other products 
similarly taking advantage of such coinage.

My questions to list members are: Have similar games existed for a very long 
time in English and other languages, and why might they suddenly be becoming 
more popular (I came up with a version of this myself a couple of years ago)?

Thanks in advance for enlightening me.

Best regards,
Jess Tauber
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: On the I-language

Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 07:57:28 +0200
From: Nicos C. Sifakis <>
Subject: On the I-language

Dear all,

In the study of language, it is possible to concentrate on the
language mechanisms as such (for example the I-language) from the
immediate social and cultural context of language use and study those
mechanisms in isolation (in what could be called a strictly mentalist

Does anyone know of a publication (that is not directly related to
linguistics but provides a very useful tool for research) that, if I'm
correct, came out in the 60s and puts forward the view that, in
science, we should isolate events, processes or mechanisms from their
immediate environment or consequences and study the events or
processes themselves rather than in combination with their
consequences? Such an approach could be applied to the study of
language in particular, as a theoretical reinforcement of the

I recall reading a relevant book a very long time ago by someone
called Henry, or Harry (I'm not sure). I remember finding the book
extremely interesting and the ideas really worthwile as a tool for
theoretical linguistic research. Can anyone help? Please reply
directly to me. I will, of course, post the title
of the publication to the list when I receive it.

Many thanks,

Nicos Sifakis

 15, Amasias St.,
 172 37 Imittos,
 Athens - Greece
 email: nicossifhol.gr20
Hellenic Open University
 Project Implementation Unit
 6, Patriarchou Ioakeim St.
 106 74 Kolonaki
 tel.: ++3010-72.21.942, 72.20.986
 fax: ++3010-72.21.303
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue