Mr. Webster returns to save holiday words

Hickory dickory dock, the (1)___________ ran up the clock. Only this mouse controlled the moving spot called a (2)___________ on a computer. It had a little rolling (3)___________ instead of feet and a connecting (4)___________ instead of whiskers.

This may recall to thrifty souls the fact that The Home Forum saved many words a couple of years ago by asking you to supply them. (See The Home Forum for March 21, May 10, and June 27, 2002.) We hear that some of the results became games for family parties. Please help again as our own Mr. Webster turns over a (5)___________ leaf for (6)___________ Year's Eve.

Mr. Webster could hardly wait for the end of December and a (7)___________ thaw. He wanted to be a better person, so he was glad his new digital camera had enough pixels for the highest of (8)___________s for the New Year.

Suddenly, Webster went back in his mind's (9)___________ to all those New Years when nobody imagined such things as a (10)___________ processor or bits or (11)___________s or e-(12)___________.

There was such a thing as handwriting or (13)___________manship, learned by the (14)___________ method. In classroom contests known as (15)___________ing bees; the (16)___________-checkers were not computer programs but living, breathing (17)___________ beings. They knew the difference between "tear" as a (18)___________ and "tear" as an active (19)___________ . Not to mention that one "tear" rhymed with (20)___________ , not courage, and the other with (21)___________ , not foul.

Looking toward the future, Webster did not (22)___________ his hard drive but the horizon. He didn't peer into a (23)___________ ball. He browsed for 2005 with a Google (24)___________ engine.

Aha, January would still be named for the two-faced god called (25)___________ . January 17 would be (26)___________ .___________ ___________ Jr. Day. Then, next month, (27)___________'s birthday would fall on a Saturday, February 12. February 14 would be (28)___________ 's Day. February 22 would be the birthday of the (29)___________ of this country. April 3 would be the beginning of (30)___________ Saving Time.

Webster knew he could go on in this way, but it seemed rather (31)___________ and dried. He wanted to shoot off some sky (32)___________s to hail the next twelve (33)___________s.

Maybe he could make, or at least see, an (34)___________-winning movie, a (35)___________-winning play, an (36)___________-winning TV show, or a (37)___________-winning CD.

Or maybe he could be a mascot for the Boston (38)___________ Sox. And maybe they'd prove that (39)___________ can strike twice in the same place. Anything can happen when you leave out a (40)___________ or two.

But let there be no blanks or gaps or omissions or lacunae when we say: Happy New Year to you!


(1) mouse; (2) cursor; (3) ball; (4) cord; (or wire); (5) new; (6) New; (7) January; (8) resolution; (9) eye; (10) word; (11) bytes; (12) mail; (13) pen; (14) Palmer; (15) spell; (16) spell; (17) human; (18) noun; (19) verb; (20) fear; (21) fair; (22) scan; (23) crystal; (24) search; (25) Janus; (26) Martin Luther King; (27) Lincoln; (28) Valentine; (29) father; (30) Daylight; (31) cut; (32) rocket; (33) month; (34) Oscar; (35) Tony; (36) Emmy; (37) Grammy; (38) Red; (39) lightning; (40) word.

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