Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Half a Word Game

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Okay, here's one that is truly only half-baked, because I only have about half an idea for a word game based on intentional misunderstanding of spoken words.

It starts with a word spoken by a first person. The second person tries to come up with a definition for a word that is not the one spoken, but is very similar to it, as if (s)he has misunderstood the word. The first person corrects the second person by speaking the word that the second person has actually defined. The second person then "misunderstands" this new word and delivers a new definition, and this process is repeated until one of the players (usually the second person) can't quickly think of a response that will continue the series.

An example: P1: The word is "mother."

P2: That's when you speak in a low voice.

P1: No, that's "mutter."

P2: You mean like the ultimate extreme.

P1: No, that's "utter."

P2: Like the part of the cow from which you get milk.

P1: No, that's "udder."

P2: The opposite of "lower."

P1: No, that's "upper."

P2: It's getting late, and I'm hungry.

P1: You're talking about "supper."

P2: Soft and pliant.

P1: "supple."

The idea is to keep this going as long as possible.

My problem, though, is that I don't know how to make this into a game that is actually playable with any real objective. How would you keep score? I could perhaps imagine a "Password" type game, where teams of two compete for the longest string using different words, but is there a better way to do it?

Even if you simply play for self-entertainment and don't keep score, it seems to me that player 2 is the only one whose skill is really tested, and so would have a lot more fun than player 1. Maybe the roles could be reversed with each series (also like Password).

Mostly, if you like this idea, I'm interested in suggestions that will help me bring this to full bakedness.

P.S. It also needs a name.

beauxeault, Jul 25 2000

Govende http://groups.googl...&btnG=Google+Search
Google's newsgroup archive now goes back to 1981. No I havn't looked through it for the thread bookworm mentioned, only linked to a search for Govende. [tobythepig, Jan 09 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Amnesiacs https://www.youtube...watch?v=qtBriiBF_pc
[DrBob, Nov 29 2015]

No, you're thinking of http://www.theverge...-game-reblogs-troll
In this version, people keep misunderstanding one original word [caspian, Oct 15 2016]

[link]






       I like the game! Actually, skill is required on both players' part, since Player 1 is first trying to extract an answer (the setup) and the Player 2 either goes where P1 expected or somewhere else.   

       Name: ComeAgain?
danrue, Oct 06 2000
  

       Stup__.
thumbwax, Oct 06 2000
  

       Actually, the game is baked. It appeared as a Thread That Wouldn't Die on alt.usage.english. It's a bit too old to dig up on Deja since the earliest posts I could find were from last year, but you can find secondary mention by searching for "Govende."
bookworm, Oct 06 2000
  

       When your Uncle Nutsy was a wee tyke (circa 1978), we used to play this very game around the dinner table.   

       I seem to recall we got it from an "Electric Company" kids' book.
Uncle Nutsy, Oct 09 2000
  

       The role-assymetry problem can be solved by having 3 (or any odd number of) people play round-robin.
td, Dec 01 2000
  

       Thanks, td! I think your suggestion is a good way to even out the challenge for all players. And for scoring, both players on a "team" could share the points (i.e., the number of words in the string before one player falters). Since the teams would shift in the round-robin, each player's final score would be a composite of the player's skill in both roles.   

       Thanks also to danrue. I initially missed the double meaning of "Come Again?" but I get it now.
beauxeault, Dec 12 2000
  

       this would make a great drinking/party game. you have circle of people and player 1 gives the person to his right the word, and the two of them continue until one messes up. the person who messed up drinks, then player 2 gives the person to his right (player 3) a new word, etc... or you could just go around the circle with each player passing to the player on his right (or left). the first one to mess up drinks, and the next person starts over. it becomes more challenging as everyone gets drunk too. i'll try this sometime.
mr shrum, Mar 24 2001
  

       Me and my mate Johnny used to play this game for hours in our local, but using peoples' names. Plus we frequently tied ourselves in knots by jumping several steps ahead:   

       me: did you see Kevin Phillips' goal last night? johnny: didn't he win Big Brother? [this was Craig Phillips for those who didn't watch it] me: no, that was george orwell johnny: the guy who was in Animal House? [animal farm, you see?] me: no, that was John Belushi johnny: was he in Reservoir Dogs as well? [Buscemi] me: you're thinking of Harvey Keitel   

       at this point the whole name thing breaks down. We either rally (perhaps with some comment about Lee Harvey Oswald) or go to the bar. Yoy can see that it was a lot more freeform than beauxeault's suggestion, and totally unscoreable, but it kept us amused.
jock, Apr 03 2001
  

       Peter Cook and Beryl Reid did a great sketch in the late '70's called "The Amnesiacs", which ran along the lines you describe, jock. They played the part of an ageing couple trying to remember which actors starred in which films (confusing Clint Walker with Clint Eastwood, for example) whilst their increasingly irritated son continually corrected them.
Or was it Roger Cook and Oliver Reed?...
DrBob, Apr 03 2001
  

       Yeah, that was a regular skit on The Electric Company (1970's U.S. kids' TV show). Pretty baked then.
snarfyguy, Jan 09 2002
  

       I thought maybe this was an idea for a game based on WordPerfect.
bristolz, Jan 09 2002
  

       I think in this game the loser is the first person who hits the other person and say "this is stupid" and walks away and the winner is the person who says "you saw cupid?"
old_rock, Mar 12 2004
  

       Sounds like a Will Ferrell script
simonj, Jul 25 2008
  

       Having recently watched the Electric Company DVD, I can state with certainty that they played exactly this game.
bungston, Jul 25 2008
  

       Reminds me of R&G playing questions.   

       Are you deaf?   

       Am I dead?   

       Are you deaf?   

       No repetitions!
nomocrow, Jul 25 2008
  

       Half a word, half a word, all in the valley of death rode the six hundred.
normzone, Jul 25 2008
  

       'Come again?' said the prostitute to the bishop.   

       Anyway, what if the answer and new sentence are combined. Harder but symmetrical and the sentence can be as complex or funny as you are able.   

       P1 (Mother) talks in low voice.   

       P2 Mutter your ultimate experiences somewhere else.   

       P3, P1 Utter caress is needed when milking the cow's thingy.   

       >>>>
wjt, Nov 29 2015
  

       A game quite like this is popular on reddit.
notexactly, Oct 15 2016
  

       I've seen a version where each participant gives both a correct word and another incorrect definition (see link) but the definitions are alway proposed for the same word each turn.   

       Here's a couple of variants I just thought of, either like this:   

       P1: The word is "mother." Or is that when you speak in a low voice?   

       P2: No, that's "mutter." Or is that like the ultimate extreme?   

       P1: No, that's "utter." Or is that the part of the cow from which you get milk?   

       And so on.   

       Or each time after one player gives a definition the other player can decide whether to give just the word, as in your original proposal, or both a word and incorrect definition as above.
caspian, Oct 15 2016
  
      
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