August 19, 2017

Resources on playing with words

Websites, books and tools

Tools for wordplay

Whip it up These resources can help you coin words, write anagrams & more. Image by tanakawho

Learn more techniques for playing with your words.


Andy’s anagram solver

Type in your key word or phrase, and this tool will create anagrams from them. Whether you’ll like the anagrams, I can’t say. “Ann Wylie” generated “el yawn in” — not a phrase I’ll be using in my next training brochure!

Internet Anagram Server

Turn a list into a mnemonic device to help readers remember your key points. Create a meaningful acronym from the first letters of the words in your list with this online anagram server.


Myspace Funny Oxymoron Generator

Get inspiration with this push-button generator. See contradictions in terms like “working vacation,” “political science” and “airline food.”

Serendipitous Oxymoron Maker

Practice creating your own paradoxes. Choose from a small list of positive adjectives with negative nouns (“beautiful disaster”) and negative adjectives with positive nouns (“miserable honesty”).

Word coiners


Practice coining new words.

  • Play With Your Words

    Neurologists call it “the pleasure of the text,” the reward readers get from figuring out figurative language. (It can be quite a reward: If your wordplay is funny enough, your readers’ brains even deliver a little dose of dopamine. Nice!)

    That good feeling puts readers in an agreeable mood and may even open their minds to your message. In fact, one study found that ads using rhetorical techniques were 166% more likely to persuade readers and 229% more likely to be remembered than ads that did not.

    The good news is that wordplay doesn’t take talent. It doesn’t take creativity. Instead, it takes techniques, tricks and time.

    At New York creative writing workshopMaster the Art of the Storyteller — a two-day creative writing master class on Sept. 25-26 in New York — you’ll learn how to:

    • Go beyond twist of phrase: Learn to flip phrases; compress details; sub soundalikes; list, rhyme and twist — even coin new words.
    • Find online tools that do most of the work for you: Walk away with links to some of the best (free!) wordplay resources — as well as ideas for how to use them.
    • Polish your skills in our wordplay workout: Get “recipes” for creating 14 types of wordplay, from anagram to etymology to oxymoron. (And yes, that portmanteau does make your butt look smaller.)
    • Get inspired by some of the world’s most creative headlines.
    • Stop writing groaners: Learn techniques that let you come up with surprising lines — and leave the clichés to the hacks.

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Master the Art of Storytelling Workshop in New York.

    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

    Would you like to hold an in-house Make Your Copy More Creative workshop? Contact Ann directly.

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