101 Two-Letter Words
He said the idea for the book — which contains a four-line poem and an illustration for each of the words — came about while he was on tour and trying to bone up on the Scrabble-inspired smartphone game Words With Friends during his down time.
Two-letter words are key to winning the game, because they allow a player to more easily put down multiple words on a single turn, Merritt explained. To help readers remember them even better, each poem has a drawing by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast to create a visual memory cue.
TWO-LETTER WORDS by Stephin Merritt , Roz Chast | Kirkus Reviews
This is just good common sense to Merritt. Merritt, who once had a studio space near the Williamsburg Bridge, said he does not have a favorite two-letter word, but he does have a favorite poem based on one. Crime stories, the latest news, and general Brooklyn weirdness in your inbox!
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101 Two-Letter Words - eBook
To be or not to be? Not to be, Shakespeare fans. Small in size but powerful in function, two-letter words act like linguistic couplers, linking other words together to produce meaningful sentences. Many two-letter words can also stand on their own, expressing clear messages with a mere two letters: Oh! In other words, binary units of language are the secret rock stars of communication.
The contents are as advertised: poems dedicated to the two-letter words admissible on the Scrabble board, illustrated by recent National Book Award nominee Roz Chast. Merritt began writing them as mnemonic devices to better his Words With Friends score, but they soon blossomed into a larger project.
Merritt sat down and ordered a green tea and a scoop of raspberry-thyme sorbet, a quick snack before his reading at the Union Square Barnes and Noble. He prefers to wear clothes in shades of brown, to match his eyes. He has a hearing condition called hyperacusis which creates a kind of feedback loop in his left ear.
When he performs, he prefers to use acoustic instruments without accompanying percussion. When I asked him if, as a Scrabble fan, he ever dabbled in word games like Boggle, he winced. But the accumulation of those details makes Merritt seem wackier than he really is.