Playing with words

Generally when we think of the word “play” we think of children in the sandbox sharing toys and having a good time, or we think of friends at the dinner table playing a competitive game of monopoly. Of course, it would be sinful to leave out a common term in gamer culture “play of the game” or shorted “pog.” This term was popularized by the game Overwatch which would show what the game deemed the coolest move or clip from the game at the end. When most people use the word play”, they say it with a bright tone and a happy smile. What is truly interesting about words like “play” is how easily they can be manipulated and turned against someone. “Oh come on, it’s a prank, we are just playing around.” Yet, it can also mean that someone is tinkering with something.

To me, language is beautiful because of the subtle mechanics of it. Inflection, tone, context, even punctuation has the ability to completely change the meaning of any one sentence. To be honest it can really play with one’s mind.

Citations for pictures, all credit to the artists.

Blizzard Enterrtainment. “Overwatch Logo.” Logos-World, 2016,

Bubalo, Nemanja. “Tinker.” ArtStation, 2018,

“Children Running to Bubbles.” United Healthcare, 17 June 2019,