Beyond Lipograms and Pangrams.

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eldin raigmore
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Beyond Lipograms and Pangrams.

Post by eldin raigmore »

A lipogram is a passage written without using a particular letter.
A pangram is a written passage that uses every letter.

It’s a fairly common exercise, at least among English authors, to write a series of 26 lipograms; each of which omits a single letter of English’s alphabet; and each long enough to use all of the other letters than the one designated to be elided from that particular lipogram.
If it makes a connected narrative that’s a real bonus!

....

I propose something beyond that here.
For each of the 325 unordered pairs of English letters, write a lipogram that doesn’t use either member of that unordered pair; but does use every digraph* that actually occurs in English that doesn’t involve either of the two letters in the elided pair.
The passage written will be a sort of digraph-pangram.
The shortest possible one might have to be at least 576 words long; or it might be possible to shorten it to 1152 letters long.
I haven’t tried it yet so I don’t know; I haven’t even located an online list of all the legitimate digraphs* that occur in English words.
*(Maybe I should say “bigram” instead of “digraph”. I mean every pair of consecutive letters that shows up in some correctly-spelled English word [in, for instance, the latest edition of the OED] that’s not a proper noun nor an acronym nor a foreign word, or some** such definition. I do not mean every consonant blend, nor every single phoneme that requires two letters to spell in English orthography.)
**(Maybe I should also omit bigrams that occur only in compound words.)

.....

One difficulty one novelist who wrote lipograms is that, if you follow the rule that all numbers have to be spelled out, there is a limited set of ages characters can be (assuming ages are always in years but you never have to write the word “years”) in any lipogram that elides the letter “e”. In his stated opinion this limited romantic scenes.

The allowed ages when omitting “e” are;
Two;
Four;
Six;
Thirty, thirty-two, thirty-four, thirty-six;
Forty, forty-two, forty-four, forty-six;
Fifty, fifty-two, fifty-four, fifty-six;
Sixty, sixty-two, sixty-four, sixty-six;
And the next number is:
Two thousand.

If one also omits “y” then no age older than six but younger than two thousand is available.

I suppose in that chapter th*r* might b* a six-**ar-old android who’d b**n cr*at*d as an adult and bootstrapp*d or IPL’d as an adult, who has a romanc* with a two-thousand-**ar-old vampir*, or something.

....

Anyone want to try?
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Beyond Lipograms and Pangrams.

Post by eldin raigmore »

If instead of “e” and “y”, one elides “e” and “t”, then no age older than six but younger than four million is available.
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