It’s time for me to reveal what I’ll be writing about for this year’s A to Z Challenge.
I really had a hard time coming up with a theme for this year that would be as exciting as the last several themes have been. Three years ago, it was portmanteaus; two years ago, words that started and ended with the same letter; and last year, words that started with the letter of the day and ended with the next letter. All of those have one thing in common: they all started out as Jeopardy! categories.
Well, the categories on this year’s shows haven’t been as interesting as in years past, so I thought, and thought some more, and remembered that Jeopardy! will often have a category with words of a certain length. And, as luck would have it, I found a website called Best Word List that had alphabetical lists of words of different lengths. So, all I had to do was pick a word length, and I’d be golden. I started with nine-letter words, and noticed that a lot of them were plurals that ended in “S.” And I had this year’s theme!
Eight Letter Words!
Now, occasionally the word will be a proper name, and in others two or more words which together have eight letters. Those are usually situations where I thought of a better word (or words) for the letter after I chose one. Only one word is a plural formed by adding an “S” to the end of a seven-letter word.
So, that’s my theme this year. What do you think?
The 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge starts a week from this coming Saturday, as I’m sure you know, and today is the day we all reveal the theme we’re going to use, if in fact we’re going to use a theme.
Two years ago, my theme was “words that start and end with the same letter.” This year’s theme is similar to that. It was an idea I got from watching Jeopardy!.
Words that end in the letter after the one they start with
A week from Saturday, my post will have a topic that starts with “A” and ends with “B.” The following Monday, the topic will start with “B” and end with “C,” and so on through the month (except Sundays), until Sunday, April 30 (this being a year that April either starts or ends with a Sunday), when the topic will start with “Z” and end with “A.”
Those of you who have followed the blog for some time know I maintain all my regular features (Monday’s Music Moves Me, Two for Tuesday, etc.) during the Challenge, so you can expect to find multiple posts each day of the Challenge. The Challenge posts will be tagged with #atozchallenge so you can find them in the list on the right side of the page. Also, because of the logistical changes we’ve made to the Challenge this year, I’ll be leaving a comment on the Challenge blog each day with a direct link to that day’s post, as well as updates to Facebook and Twitter which you can find using the #atozchallenge hash tag.
In honor of the occasion, here is a promo from ABC, announcing their fall lineup for Friday nights in 1970…
I look forward to hearing about what your theme is!
Click on the image to see everyone else doing a theme reveal!
Last month, I did a Stream of Consciousness Saturday post about contractions, and I started thinking about words like “suitcase” or “keyboard,” which aren’t contractions but are somewhat related. Now, those words are compound words, words made up of two or more words (suit + case, key + board), but I mistakenly called them portmanteaus, or portmanteaux if you prefer. Deborah Drucker (whose blog you really need to read, if you don’t) commented that she had only ever heard the term in reference to luggage…
A portmanteau (image: Photobucket)
That’s one use for the word, but I was thinking in terms of portmanteau words, like “smog” (smoke + fog) or “Prevacid” (prevent + acid). Merriam-Webster Online defines portmanteau (the word type, not the luggage type) this way:
a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)
We use portmanteaus all the time, sometimes without knowing that they are. I didn’t know, for example, that cyborg (cybernetic + organism) was one. Ditto vitamin (vital + amine), endorphin (endogenous + morphine), and transistor (transfer + resistor). They’re like compound words, but they typically only use portions of the words (morphemes) to constitute them.
I think you get the point. I’d give more examples, but then I wouldn’t have anything to write about next month. Instead, join me starting a week from Friday as we take a look at…
(Reblogging, with minor changes, from here.)
Sign-ups for the 2016 A to Z Blogging Challenge are already under way. If you have done it before, you know how much fun it is (good for you!) and if you have not, this is your chance to give it a try. You can sign up to participate HERE.
One of the most burning questions participants ask themselves every year is: “Should I have a theme?” Themes are not mandatory, but definitely fun. They let your visitors know what to expect, and help you create posts that line neatly up from A to Z. They also have an added bonus – they let you participate in a whole separate blogfest!
Three years ago, A to Z participant Mina Lobo started the Theme Reveal, and we thought it was such a great idea that we made it tradition.
Here is how the Theme Reveal Blogfest works:
- Sign up on the Linky List.
- On Monday, March 21, reveal your theme on your blog and give us a hint of what to expect from it.
- Then, once your post is up, use the Linky List to visit all the other blogs announcing their themes.
This is a great opportunity for all of you to get a jump start on your A to Z experience. You can link up with fellow bloggers, scout out and bookmark themes that you look forward to, and lure in wandering participants with your awesome theme. This way, by the time the frenzied posting begins on April 1, you will already have an audience eagerly awaiting your posts.
Sign up below, ready your theme, and put March 21 on your calendar!
Click Here To Enter
You might remember that, the day signups began for the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I was so excited that I just couldn’t wait until I could tell people what my theme would be, and I posted it that day. When I did so, I received a comment that told me nicely, “Well, we were all going to wait…”
Was my face ever red…
Anyway, as I mentioned in that post, I had originally wanted to turn the A to Z Challenge on its head and post words that ended with the letter of the day. I wasn’t sure I could get away with it, but I started coming up with my word list, and discovered that there were words that started and ended with the letter. At that point, my theme for the challenge became “words that start and end with the same letter.”
So, I’ve been working on my posts for this year, and I do have to admit, not all of my “words” are actually words. One or two are abbreviations, I have at least one word that’s a stock ticker symbol, several are company or product names, and there are a couple that start and end with the same letter because they are the only letter. Anyway, be with us a week from Wednesday, April 1, as this year’s Challenge commences. All of these blogs will be participating in the Challenge, so there should be lots of fun stuff to read.
And, if your blog isn’t on the list, why not? Come join us! It’s oodles of fun!