Every Friday afternoon, we have an online fun session at the office, which I quite enjoy. The way it works is, everyone, or more precisely, whoever is interested, logs on to a room on jabber (we use jabber as the internal messenger), and whoever is the orchestrator for the day’s fun does his or her own thing. The first few weeks, we played Tambola, and that was quite good fun, though I was never lucky enough to win anything. The prizes are always the same – Two tickets for a movie of your choice. Then, to add more variety, the organizers decided to do other kinds of stuff. Week before last was a sports quiz, which I won quite handily. Won 2 tickets, which I wasted on a contender for the worst tamil movie of the year – Vettaiyaadu Vilaayadu (aside, why everybody was going ga-ga over this movie beats me – total crap, in my not so humble opinion). I volunteered to host the next week’s fun programme – 20 questions, where I give the clues, instead of just saying “yes” or “no” to questions posed to me.

Well, the thing is, with online 20 questions is, it’s not possible to make it work. No matter the person I thought about, it was pretty simple to crack it with one search on google, for the clue given. So, I ditched the idea, and decided on word jumbles. That’s pretty easy to do, but to add a twist, I decided to do a jumble with a common theme – i.e. words in the English language that were derived from Indian words, or came from Indian English. Turned out to be quite good fun, and it was pretty well received by those who played. I had a lot of fun doing it too. Not too much hard work, but interesting nevertheless. All the words were cracked in quick time, except the last tie-break question to decide the winner. That one took a hell of a long time, but it was tough. “Load-shedding’ was the word.

Interesting how the mind works. I suppose the only reason I thought about word jumbles was because I was reading “The Surgeon of Crawthorne” at that time, the book that I have written about earlier. I finished the book, btw, and it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I thought there would be more about the creation of the “dictionary” itself, and while there was a bit of that, not enough for my satisfaction. Towards the end it turned out to be more about the mad doctor, WC Minor, i.e. the surgeon in the title. Mad as he was, after a point, it got a bit boring reading about his life. It would have been better if the author had written some more about the OED itself. As I learnt later, he did do that, but in a different book, not this one. Anyway, all said and done, three-fourths of the book was quite a good read.

Aside, the OED was probably the first “wikipedia”, with a vast majority of the usage examples of the words, coming from volunteer contributors such as the good doctor. Collaboration doesn’t always need the Internet, clearly.

I have now started “Witch Doctors”, which is a book debunking management gurus and their not so bright ideas. Well, that’s something we all know, don’t we! Interesting enough beginning, hope it stays that way.


Posted on September 18, 2006, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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