*   *   *   *
  LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

Word Searching

I've been fascinated by words and wordplay (i.e. "logology") for as long as I can remember. I recall noting my first anagram on a bulletin board in the 3rd grade. I remember being fascinated by the word "skiing" because it had a double-i present; and I remember looking for more such words (TAXIING, HAWAII, NAZIISM, GENII, RADII).

I still have a very old set of pages that I typed on an electric typewriter which details some of the word oddities and patterns I was intrigued by. One task I set for myself early on was to find a word whose length was equal to its initial letter's index in the alphabet (e.g. 1-letter words beginning with "A", 2-letter for "B", et cetera).

This was all done long before computers and searchable wordlists were available to a 9 year old kid. The list I found by scanning a couple of dictionaries I had access to at the time:

A
Be
Cat
Door
Eagle
Forget
Ghastly
Habitant
Innocence
Jackrabbit
Kitchenware
Luminescence
Megalomaniacs
Neocolonialism
Ophthalmologist
Parapsychologist
Quasquicentennial
Radioimmunological
Straightforwardness
Thermophosphorescent
Ultraminiaturizations
V
W
X
Y
Z
Since then, of course, I've obtained more dictionaries (I own five or six unabridged tomes at this point), plus the Merriam Webster's Third New International [MW3] came with a nifty CD-Rom that makes searching much easier (it almost feels like cheating, really).

Unfortunately, I have not been able to improve upon the list above. Things still crap out at the 21-letter "V" stage.

I have, however, been able to get a more thorough list of the following sort:

                         A
                         B
                         C
                         D
    dehydroepiandrosteronE
                         F
      deinstitutionalizinG
       cinephotomicrograpH
                         I
                         J
          DneprodzerzhinsK
           immunogeneticaL
            sensationalisM
             interrogatioN
              clavicembalO
               stewardshiP
                QaraqalpaQ
                 lengthieR
                  whisperS
                   chemisT
                    bureaU
                     ollaV
                      ploW
                       taX
                        aY
                         Z
The entries for -E, -G, -H, -K, -Q, and -V are all new to me (I just looked them up while typing this webpage). Yes, some of them are rather obscure words (and a couple are designated as "usually capitalized"), but they do all appear in my MW3. There are many other lexicons out there, however, so maybe a few more of the blanks can be filled in.

Even with all of the new technology, word searching is not yet a completely trivial task.

-- Eric

P.S.: The first word challenge above has been so close to my heart that I included it as a puzzle at my First Puzzle Party (Puzzle #4).

[8 December 2005]
   
LOGOLOG


Archive
 This & That
 It's All Abou...1
 Non-Crashing ...
 Pseudo-palind...2
 Box Office Cu...
 All In A Row
 Redividers
 Chemical Symb...1
 Over 636 Pali...2
 Omino Font
 Front Hook: S
 History of Bo...1
 Front Hook: R
 Well, Moviego...4
 Front Hook: Q
 Front Hook: P
 Front Hook: O
 Front Hook: N1
 Front Hook: M
 Front Hook: L
 Front Hook: K
 Front Hook: J1
 Front Hook: I2
 Front Hook: H4
 Front Hook: G3
 Front Hook: F
 Front Hook: E
 Front Hook: D
 Front Hook: C
 Front Hook: B1
 Front Hook: A
 Multiple Solu...1
 And The Nomin...
 I want a cut ...2
 Stew-word-shi...1
 Scrabble Play...
 The answer is...2
 Pangrams and ...
 Pangrams and ...
 Secret Weapon...
 Colorful Citi...2
 Song, Song, S...2
 Near-Pangramm...2
 Favorite Numb...3
 Periodic Tabl...1
 Body Of Music...
 Filmed In Tec...3
 Cryptic Femal...1
 Colorful Film...1
 Elemental Bod...5
 Ambigrams Rev...1
 Calculated Wo...2
 Teacher Torto...2
 True Story
 Polly-Gone
 Sending My Re...
 A-B-C-D-ary1
 Word Dice3
 That Does It!3
 Lexomino Puzz...
 Morse Code Pa...3
 Bringing Ingo...7
 NIN
 Dot, Dot, Das...2
 Repeated lett...3
 Palindromic P...3
 Palindromic P...
 Sick Pun4
 Typesetting 2...2
 Heterogrammic...5
 Plurals1
 Phoneys1
 What is a "wo...
 Hollywood Nam...
 Front Hooks
 Half Price
 Through The 7...
 W4...1
 ;
 Bourne To Run4
 DVDs2
 V for Very Di...
 Scrabble: Ash...
 Scrabble, red...1
 A=1, B=2, C=32
 4 Sides To Ev...4
 Periodic Tabl...2
 BIVOUAC4
 String of Mov...3
 Where's Winsl...4
 para-palindro...4
 pun
 Standardized ...2
 Unintended Am...1
 Web Too Dah T...1
 Backronym2
 Fishy
 Too clever by...4
 Another wordy...
 Commercialize...1
 Beyond BOOKKE...5
 Not Positive ...11
 Scrabble Tabl...2
 Puzzle1
 Negativity
 Lightning1
 Another Pan-v...1
 Not So Frugal
 Not So Funny ...1
 Memory of GAM...5
 Musical Wordp...
 830
 Funny1
 Chemical Abbr...1
 Movie Rebuses7
 Television Sh...1
 Even More Het...
 More Heterogr...3
 Oooooo...2
 Those crazy H...2
 NFL4
 Wordmonger2
 Alli says, "A...
 A Puzzling St...3
 THE MAD ANAGR...4
 Synonymous Co...1
 CARNELIOUS3
 -und2
 Batteries2
 Names13
 Rubik Font3
 Under A Spell
 State The Rea...2
 7x7 Scrabble ...
 7x7 Scrabble ...
 Scrabble Squa...4
 Tube Maps2
 GAMES Magazin...
 Superbowl: ST...
 Letter Shifti...1
 Projects of L...
 Slices of PI,...
 Slices of PI,...
 Heterogrammic...
 QWERTY vs. Dv...2
 Word Chemistr...
 Heterogrammic...1
 Pangrammic Cr...1
 Comments for ...
 Ambigrams
 Alphabet Soup3
 Logo
 Alpha-Pangram...
 Book List
 Scrabble Tile...
 D'oh!
 Letter Shifti...
 Palindromes
 Pangrammic Cr...
 Phobias1
 Pentominoes
 Word Searchin...
 Welcome1

 
*   *
*   *
 
Leave a comment on LOGOLOG about the article: Word Searching
Your Name:  

Your comment (HTML tags will be removed):


Day of week today is:   


 
*   *
*   *
 
Copyright © 2005 - 2005, Eric C. Harshbarger
 
*   * *   *