Verbotomy


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verbotomydancemonkeyI hesitate to ask how many of you remember Sniglets. I'm still a fairly young guy, but I'm always afraid of how any pop culture question will date me. The early eighties was not a great time for me, and I was only like 9 years old.

Sniglets are words that should be in the dictionary but aren't. If that sounds interesting, and you enjoy wordplay and word games then you'll love Verbotomy. Each day you're presented with a definition and must come up with an original word to match. If you verbin and become a verbotomist, you can save your words and build up points towards each round of play. You can also vote on your favorite entries and subscribe to an RSS feed so you can know immediately when a new verboticism is ready and waiting.

This is obviously a very casual game, requiring only a few minutes of your time each day. More fun for me than creating a new word was viewing and voting on other words. For instance I came up with a word I was rather proud of, "blamefuscate," for a definition last week, but was even more impressed with some of the other words. "Culpitize" and "whomeopathy" were great, and I still laugh when I read "stinkerise" purely for its scatalogical value. Some other favorites of mine are "flatterchatter", "memorafeeblia", and of course the utterly nonsensical "potatobomb".

This is a game with a lot of those "Now why didn't I think of that?" moments. In fact, that's a great definition in need of a word. What would you call that feeling that you should of thought of, say, the simply brilliant "namenesia" instead of your own stunningly dull "resnub"?

If you like word games and subtle word humor, then go forth and verbotomize!

Play Verbotomy

13 Comments

fantastic find! it's kinda like reverse balderdash, but with no right answers. i've already submitted my answer, and i can't wait to see what else comes up!

two things: one, because anyone can submit any word that they want, you really have to watch out for inappropriate language on this thing. in today's puzzle alone, i definitely saw at least four words made from racial slurs and sexual terms. that, and the cartoons themselves can be somewhat suggestive at times (though i love the drawing style!)

second, the only thing that truely irritates me is how the voting system is set up. the words are presented in ranking order, rather than a random unmarked order. this sets up a bias, making people tend to pick the first answers (the "proven good" answers), rather than reading down to the bottom. and with over 200 words so far today, i know i didn't read all the way down. but otherwise, i still get my giggles trying to come up with a bizarre, yet understandable word for the pictures. good pick, sir!

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Yeah, one unique problem after this review is the number of answers: over 200 and counting. During the review process I looked at the site over several days and saw 9-10 at MOST per day. Quite a jump, so hopefully the designer comes up with some better way to handle the huge list. An alphabetical listing is obviously a good choice.

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Heh, this is fun, though I suppose in order to see if you're actually any good at the game you have to make your word for the day up at the beginning of the game.

Unless of course they fix the way the words are shown... then it might be a bit more even.

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Great! I haven't had as much fun since I read The Meaning of Liff.

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mrsallisonf December 13, 2006 6:34 AM

If you are amused by words that are not quite words, you may want to make a stop at http://unwords.com. Fun to browse or to add your own.

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nice game!
and i got 22 votes for my word, made it to he top ten!
but i hadn't registered so is under the name guest.

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As for the question posed at the end of the review, I might call that "neolojealosy", "hindcite", or "genius envy" (although that last one isn't one word!)

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The one for 12/13/06, about pretending to be sick not to do something...

Theres a word for that already. It's "Malinger"

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I made one called Decstiolomonisis

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PolishedAmethyst Author Profile Page January 21, 2007 2:52 AM

Interesting. I submitted a few words a day and a half ago and am 22nd in the weekly rankings (already). Granted, that's not great, but fun nonetheless! I can only imagine how well someone would do if they applied themselves 100%.
I agree with the other poster about having a more manageable system, it would definitely be a plus. It seems as if it is all over the place, and I went back to vote for a couple of words for which I had an affinity for and it took much longer than necessary to locate them.
Either way, neat find - entertaining.

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Hey dancemonkey,

Thanks for the great review! Verbotomy is now three months old, and our players -- our writers -- have created almost 5000 new, and no doubt immensely useful, words!

Obviously, your review was a turning point for our game. Before you posted it, we had about 10 players. Suddenly we were getting visited hundreds of very creative people! Thank you!

Verbotomy is continuing to develop and grow. In fact we have made several improvements to the game based your review and your reader's suggestions.

The first thing that we did -- and we did this on the very first day that there was a problem -- was to put a filter on postings which eliminated rude words or comments.

The next thing we changed was the way the verboticisms (the invented words) are presented for voting. They are now listed in random order, and we only show 10 at a time, so each word has fair chance of winning. We have also updated the tracking and scoring systems so that it automatically scores and ranks the top words, and top players, for each week.

Recently we have just added a new feature -- private game rooms. This allows players to create their own private game of Verbotomy with a small group of players. The small groups seem to encourage more verbal jousting and jostling, more player-to-player feedback, and ultimately more creativity! Which is what Verbotomy is all about!

Thanks again for reviewing the game. We really appreciate your observations, insights and support!

Cheers,

~ James
www.verbotomy.com

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I've decided I don't like this game.

Everytime I've been on, all the "top" words are just portmanteaus. Thats not creative. Thats just sticking two words together.

As well as that, all the top answers seem to be by the same people over and over again. Same people voting and leaving comments, same people winning...

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Jay, while I was on the verbotomy site I stumbled upon a 'game'...not really a game, more of a webtoy...anyways, here it is

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