On anagramming

Perhaps by dint of the arrival of the summer, I’ve taken increased joy in anagramming. I doubt that this will surprise many of you, as it seems precisely like the kind of profoundly useless undertaking that I would find myself dedicated to sometime around three in the morning. In my view, however, anything that can turn “William Shakespeare” into “I am a weakish speller” is pretty cool.

It is my intention to attempt to write some anagrammatic poetry over the course of the next few weeks; albeit that I doubt that I’ll be able to create anything of note, I’ll post my tries.  I’ll also do my best to create Latin anagrams from well-known Latin phrases.  All of this, if I remain as excited as I currently am about it, will be undertaken manually.

For now, I’ve an interesting exercise for those interested.  Noting that an anagram is only created if all of the letters of the original word or phrase are utilized, this cannot theoretically be associated with the term.  Nevertheless, it’s fun!

That said, I remember once having been told that the letters in the word “planets” can be alternatively combined to form ninety-two other words.  In one case (excluding, obviously, the word itself), from what I’ve thus far been able to note, all of the letters may be used.  How many can you list?  I’ve taken down eighty-seven in the last forty-eight minutes, much of which time was spent glaring viciously at a blinking text cursor.  I am now thoroughly and irrefutably stuck.  Something tells me that I’ll be sitting here for a long, long time.

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This entry was posted in English Language, Literature, & My Writing, Etymology & Linguistics. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to On anagramming

  1. Nao says:

    Are you sure it’s only 92?
    I’ve got 94 words and counting (including PLANETS itself), and that doesn’t include its anagram. (I.e. I haven’t found the one that uses all its letters, yet.)

  2. Sophia says:

    I’m not certain that there’re only ninety-two (actually, I’m currently assured that there are more, unless I’m completely insane) – that’s what I was told several years ago. Of course, results will differ with your definition of a “word” – I’m assuming that whoever told me this was thinking of commonplace terms. As I predicted in my post, I was doing this ad nauseam (i.e., until precisely three forty two in the morning), and stumbled upon two-hundred and thirteen (this including some two-letter words, though – fifteen, to be exact), albeit it seems that there will be more.
    Let’s share lists – you’ve definitely found some that I didn’t, and the reverse may be true. Perhaps together, we can divulge how many there truly are.

    I’ve found the anagram, as I mentioned – it’s rather an obscure one, though, and it’s a plural. It kind of hit me in the face after I made note of its singular form – it’s “platens”.

    • Nao says:

      All the words I found were common words and their plurals. The least common was probably “alt” and “alts” as well as 12 or so 2-letter words that are words according to the SOWPODS Scrabble dictionary. I made it to 140 before stopping but didn’t save …

      I’ll do it again sometime and put it on my blog soon, if you’d like to see.

      • Sophia says:

        Oh, nice – I don’t have too many uncommon ones either, although I have stumbled upon some simplistic bio stuff: “sepals” and “tepals”, among others.

        Okay, that would be awesome, albeit that I don’t want to encourage you to waste time simply to satisfy my curiosity as to your results. If you do happen to do this again, then please do notify me, however. I’d like to see which ones I’m missing.

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