John, a college English instructor friend, introduced me to a book that recently became available in paperback: Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare by Jeremy Butterfield. I bought a copy (no freebies here!) and have to agree that it's a fascinating read for anyone who loves words and wordplay like I do.

The book offers a "corpus" that contains a recently-compiled list of the 100 most popular words to appear in English writing. As expected, most of the words are short, one-syllable terms like "of" and "a" and "that." In fact, the corpus contains exactly one seven-letter word (#93 on the list) and one six-letter entry (two closely-related words, combined as #57 on the list). Think about it for a bit, and then...

Name these two words (or all three, if you can).

Here are the ANSWERS.


the seven-letter word: BECAUSE

the six-letter words: PERSON / PEOPLE (either is correct)

Let us know what words you came up with by posting them in the comments. Thanks!