Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Interesting stuff from today's A Word A Day. If you don't subscribe, you really should!

with Anu Garg



noun: A piece of writing that uses only one of the vowels.
adjective: Using only one vowel.

From Latin uni- (one) + vocalic (relating to vowels), from vox (voice).

Here's an example of univocalic that makes use of only the vowel e: Seventh September. The longest one word univocalic is strengthlessness. Also see lipogram.

CONTEST: Imagine you are a headline writer for a newspaper back in the days when metal type was used. You have run out of all but one of the vowels in the large type size that is used for the headline. What univocalic can you come up with? Email your univocalic news headlines (real or made-up) to (words at wordsmith.org). Selected entries will be featured in the weekly compilation AWADmail and the best entry will win an autographed copy of my latest book DORD. Deadline is Friday Oct 17.

"Most notably, [Christian Bök's] 2001 Eunoia, seven years in the making, became Canada's bestselling poetry book ever -- an incredible feat for such explicitly experimental writing. No comforting fluff here; in the main portion, each chapter employs but a single vowel (e.g., "Enfettered, these sentences repress free speech"), a univocalic constraint."
Ed Park; Crystal Method; Village Voice (New York); Dec 16, 2003.

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