So how do I like to play with words then?
1. I like twist endings to a lot of my stories so there is a lot of playing with words to be had there in coming up with a twist that works.
2. I sometimes end stories with a punchline which often revolves around a pun. Puns are the very definition of playing with language!
3. I like to take known phrases and play with them to come up with something that has "echoes" but which is also unique to my story. For example, we usually talk about punishing the guilty for crime etc but my story in From Light to Dark and Back Again is deliberately called Punish the Innocent. The idea is to get you wondering (a) why would someone want to punish the innocent, (b) do they do so, (c) were the innocent that guiltless after all?
I sometimes use spider diagrams to help me work out in which directions I could take a story idea and then I pick the one that I like the best. Playing with words here helps me come up with thoughts deeper than my initial "obvious" ideas and therefore I hope a more original story line.