A Little Bit of Serious Fun

Sometimes, when I’m not teaching, reading, writing, or parenting, I like to have some fun. I watch TV and movies, and play board games. And then sometimes, I like to have some serious fun. One of my favorite websites to visit is the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad website. That sounds REALLY fun, right? But, in fact, it is!

NACLO Language Puzzles

A sample puzzle on Inuit writing.

A sample puzzle on Inuit writing.

The NACLO is an organization that offers a language puzzle competition to high school students throughout North America, and these puzzles are highly addicting. They require no knowledge of other languages. Instead, they require logical and analytical skills. With just these skills, and a bit of patience, you can decipher Inuktitut orthography, Pali grammar, or nonsense English. They recently started making some of their puzzles web-based, which makes them all the more fun. Give one a try and I guarantee you’ll be addicted. I liked them so much, I even made my own, based on Game of Throne’s High Valyrian:

Can you solve this simple High Valyrian puzzle?

Can you solve this simple High Valyrian puzzle?


Linguists Against Humanity

Have you discovered the insane fun that is Cards Against Humanity? There are numerous derivations of this game, including one for our type of people: Linguists Against Humanity. I have yet to play this game, but it seems like some pretty cool, serious fun.

A linguistics take on Cards Against Humanity.

A linguistics take on Cards Against Humanity.


Other Linguistics Games

Check out All Things Linguistics page for any posts tagged “games”. They have tons of fun stuff listed.


Conference Bingo

Mixosaurus has a conference bingo card generator. Next time you go to a conference, bring one of these to mark whenever someone says “I’ll try to be brief,” a teaching panel doesn’t offer practical ideas, or a presenter shows up visually hungover. You can also find an ELT specific one here (thanks Mura Nava). I originally heard of this idea through PhD Comics:


Jargon Generator

Finally, to spruce up some of your next tweets, check out the education jargon generator.

3 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Serious Fun

    • Anthony Schmidt says:

      Thanks for the link. I’ve added it above.

      “abrar edrusis” is not quite correct. Check the first word, and your spelling 😉

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