101 Two-letter Words

101 Two-letter Words

Book - 2014
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Presents a versed celebration of the 101 two-letter words allowed in the game Scrabble, dedicating an original four-line, wryly whimsical rhyming poem to each.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393240191
0393240193
Branch Call Number: 428.1 MERRITT
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Chast, Roz

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ksoles Oct 28, 2014

When songwriter and Scrabble aficionado Stephin Merriit couldn't remember all the strategic, two-letter words allowed in the game, he made up poems. "101 Two Letter Words" emerged as a collection of these sly, silly rhymes that reach absurdity when paired with illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

Merritt's charming, fanciful entries include the esoteric "os," brought to life by an animated landscape: “Os: a spine of gravel dropped / by long-gone giggly glaciers / playing in their sandbox, leaving / scribbles and erasures.” The Scrabble dictionary also includes "oi," the Scottish “ae” (meaning one), the Egyptian “ba” (representing the soul) and “bi” (for bisexual). Adding further interest, Merritt sometimes works with the unexpected meaning of a word as when he defines "go" as: "a subtle game of skill, / with stones of black and white."

Throughout, Chast captures the mood with her characteristically unkempt humans and animals, ultimately rendering this compendium humourous first, educational second.

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