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June 20th, 2006


Deter real stranger

Posted on 2006.06.20 at 20:10
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: Non, je ne regrette rien - Edith Piaf
This title is an anagram of the phrase “rearranged letters.” It fulfills the basic definition of an anagram, which I’ll call a Type 1 anagram, but does not transcend the definition. To my mind, transcending the definition consists of finding an anagram that sheds a deeper, ironic, or humorous light on the subject. Those I’ll call Type 2 anagrams. A few favorite examples follow (not created by me, but copied from other sources):

Dormitory – Dirty room
Mother in law – Woman Hitler
Alec Guinness – Genuine class
Eleven plus two – Twelve plus one
Princess Diana – End is a car spin
Spiro Agnew – Grow a penis

The closest I’ve come to composing a Type 2 anagram is a commentary on how Laura Bush might regard her husband:
George Bush – Ego bugs her
– though that one is admittedly a little strained.

The most ambitious anagram I’ve constructed to date needs a bit more set-up. There was at one time a singer/actress in Detroit by the name of Sheri Nichols (shown here at a recent performance in Kalamazoo). She was putting together a one-woman show at a downtown nightclub called Tremonti’s and she asked me if I would help her put the show together. I did various things, including helping with song order, writing the spoken transitions between songs, and even rewriting the lyrics to the song “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors. I also helped with the writing of the program notes. Among other bits of tomfoolery, I challenged the audience to come up with an anagram for the phrase, “Sheri Nichols is at Tremonti’s.” I gave as an example the anagram, “i.e., Mrs. Olson is the Antichrist.” Now that is strictly a Type 1 anagram, but geez, it represented hours of work for me! For the record, we received no valid entries during the run of the show.

Anagrams continue to fascinate me to this day, and I may occasionally post new ones. Additionally, I’m all ears (or would it be eyes?) if you have any good ones to share!

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