What do you do if you’re about to graduate university, have limited job prospects and owe thousands of dollars in student loans?
You start a website that sells words from the dictionary — as in all 291,500 words from the Oxford English Dictionary. And you charge $1 per letter.
And then you sit back and laugh your ass off as the cash pours in.
At least, that’s what Paddy Donnelly and Lee Monroe did.
They’ve raked in more than $40,000 since they launched their site, The Big Word Project, a few months ago.
We think this bears repeating. These two students from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland are putting words from the English dictionary on their own website and then selling them to other web pages.
Click on the word “romance,” for instance, and you link to a dating site for geeks. Really.
Meanwhile, the word “bowling” has been bought by bowlingproshop.com, a site dedicated to, you guessed it, bowling supplies.
As of this writing, the two lads have sold 5,834 words. They claim their money-making scheme is all in the name of higher education
“We wanted a project that would explore our new skills that we have developed on our Masters course,” says Monroe. “The project is aimed at changing definitions and creating a new tapestry of words.”
Blah, blah, blah. We know two hustlers when we see ‘em. These guys could sell Iron Maiden t-shirts at a Hannah Montana concert.
After all, they’re getting people to buy words from the dictionary and charging them–this bears repeating–a buck per letter.
If only everyone who read this piece gave us a buck. We’d be rich. Well, maybe not rich. But at least we could afford lunch.