Saturday, February 23, 2008

Owl's Dirt

An anagram of "word list," Owl's Dirt represents an attempt to compress all English words into one small volume.  The author uses an algorithm whereby each word is compared to its predecessor: if the only difference is a common ending (like -ed, -s, -er, etc.), then the second word is abbreviated to this ending.  Similarly, if the two words begin with the same string of 6 or more letters, the second word is abbreviated to its ending.

impress ed es ibility ible ing ion ionable ionism ionisms ionist ionistic ionists ions ive ively iveness ment ments ure ures

In this example, the words all begin with "impress," though they may not be closely related in usage (impressionist vs. impressure).