Can word games make us smarter?

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 18:15 PM.

When older generations complain about reading and writing skills among today’s youth, they point accusingly at technological advances, award-winning author and college teacher Daniel Wick said.

But older generations would do well to embrace the changing landscape of language, says Wick, whose newest book is “An Epidemic of Epigrams or an Avalanche of Aphorisms."

“Historically, the English language is probably the most open major language, a testament to the different cultures that have interacted with English speakers. Generational contributions to culture have been an important influence,” he says.

“We still use the colloquialism ‘cool’ from the jazz age and rock n’ roll and rap lyrics continue to add words and phrases to our vocabulary. Likewise, word-use limits such as those on Twitter have more of us thinking about economy of language, which can be a good thing.” 

Rather than deny the power of culture and technology, Wick suggests to both educators and older folks that utilizing today’s trends is a great way to promote the joy and education of language.

“When you think about the engaging possibilities for wit, wonder and wordplay, language today has plenty of potential to educate expanding young minds and exercise aging brains,” he said.

He offers fun language exercises that can help both the young and elderly:



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