- (38) Woven silk pyjamas exchanged for blue quartz.
- (35) The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
- (32) Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.
- (30) How quickly daft jumping zebras vex!
- (30) Jackdaw, love my big sphinx of quartz!
- (29) Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!
- (28) Fox nymphs grab quick jived waltz.
- In no way can I take credit for any of these. I happened to stumble across a fascinating website in my bit of internet research: http://www.fun-with-words.com/word_consecutive_letters.html
- On the same page I discovered collections of many other word concepts and phrases that I thought I would share, as I found them intriguing. The first would be palindromes. Palindromes are words, phrases or sentences that are spelled the same forward or backward, for example MOM, or RACECAR. Some of the clever ones listed were:
- Madame I am Adam (Adam's pick-up line to Eve)
- Do geese see God?
- Was it Eliot's toilet I saw?
- Murder for a jar of red rum.
- Some men interpret nine memos.
- Never odd or even
- Next I came across Anagrams. Anagrams are like daffynitions in Charades, they are definitions of a word or phrase, but with a very clever twist - the definition contains the same letters as the initial word or phrase. These took some really thoughtful pondering to come up with. Again I can lay absolutely no claim to any of them.
Friday, March 25, 2011
The Quick Brown Fox
I like words. Probably that is why Scrabble is one of favourite pastimes.
A while back I wrote a blog on mnemonics and I had the phrase 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' as a leftover. It didn't really fit into the theme for the day. So I just let it percolate in a draft for a couple of months. Yesterday I decided to revisit it and see what I could make out of it. I went on-line and discovered it is actually known as a pangram or a holoalphabetic sentence (contains all letters of the alphabet) -- and you thought it was just the sentence your typing (keyboarding now) teacher taught you, so that you learned where all the letter keys were on the typewriter (computer keyboard). "The quick brown....", is a 35 letter pangram. Several other good ones have surfaced. I'll list the following:
Debit card = Bad credit
Halley's Comet = Shall yet come
Punishment = Nine Thumps
Dormitory = Dirty room
Astronomer = Moon starer
The Hurricanes = These churn air
Schoolmaster = The classroom
Have you ever heard the term Spoonerisms? Well I hadn't either until yesterday. Spoonerisms are phrases or sentences where two beginning letters in two words get accidentally (or not so) mixed up in speech (such as the old standby - 'smart feller' becomes 'fart smeller'). Here are the best ones I found:
Tease my ears (Ease my tears)
A lack of pies (A pack of lies)
It's roaring with pain (It's pouring with rain)
Wave the sails (Save the whales)
The next examples of fun stuff, I came across, deal just with single words and some of the neat anomalies discovered by smarter folks than me.
What is unique about the word 'sequoia'? It is the shortest word to contain all five vowels? Can you think of any other such words? Some of the ones listed include: uncopyrightable, miscellaneous. Then we start to get fancy. 'Facetious' and 'abstemious' have all five vowels and in alphabetical order. Then we have 'uncomplimentary, unproprietary, unoriental and subcontinental, all in reverse alphabetical order.
Apparently there is at least one word, for each letter, in the English, that contains that letter doubled. A few of these are a bit sketchy - I think someone was stretching a little to come up with them, but again it took someone a fair bit of time and brainpower to come up with this list.
AARDVARK, ABBOT, ACCENT, ADD, FEED, OFF, EGG, WITHHOLD, SKIING, AVIJJA, BOOKKEEPER, ILL, IMMUNE, ANNOY, HOOP, APPLE, HUQQA, ARRAY, KISS, LITTLE, VACUUM, SAVVY, SLOWWORM, WAXXENN, CUBBYYEW, and DAZZLE.
How about long strings of uninterrupted consonants (these could be useful in Scrabble when you get a lack of vowels). Some relatively common words with strings of five consonants are:
BACKSPLASH, BACKSTRETCH, BACKSTROKE, BIRTHPLACE, BREASTSTROKE, DOWNSTREAM, DOWNTHRUST, DUMBSTRUCK, EIGHTHS, ERSTWHILE, HEARTTHROB, LENGTHS, LIGHTPROOF, MATCHSTICK, NIGHTCLOTHES, NIGHTCLUB, NIGHTDRESS, POSTSCRIPT, STRENGTHS, THOUSANDTHS, THUMBSCREW, TWELFTHS, WARMTHS, and WITCHCRAFT. ANGSTS is the shortest word with five consonants in a row.
Can you think of a common word without any of the five common vowels? How about ............. RHYTHMS?
And that is about all I have to say for today (and about all the brainpower I can muster).
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.