Language

    An archive of questions and answers that may be of interest to puzzle enthusiasts.
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Question 27 - english/pronunciation/homophone/trivial:
Consider the free non-abelian group on the twenty-six letters of the alphabet with all relations of the form = , where and are homophones (i.e. they sound alike but are spelled differently). Show that every letter is trivial. For example, be = bee, so e is trivial. Show Answer

Question 28 - english/pronunciation/oronym:
List some oronyms (phrases or sentences that can be read in two ways with the same sound). Show Answer

Question 29 - english/pronunciation/phonetic.letters:
What does "FUNEX" mean? Show Answer

Question 30 - english/pronunciation/rhyme:
What English words are hard to rhyme?

"Rhyme is the identity in sound of an accented vowel in a word...and of all consonantal and vowel sounds following it; with a difference in the sound of the consonant immediately preceding the accented vowel." (From The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood). Appropriately Wood says a couple of pages later, "If a poet commences, 'October is the wildest month' he has estopped himself from any rhyme; since "month" has no rhyme in English." Show Answer

Question 31 - english/pronunciation/silent.letter:
For each letter, what word contains that letter silent? Show Answer

Question 32 - english/pronunciation/silent.most:
What word has the most silent letters in a row? Show Answer

Question 33 - english/pronunciation/syllable:
What words have an exceptional number of letters per syllable? Show Answer

Question 34 - english/pronunciation/telegrams:
Since telegrams cost by the word, phonetically similar messages can be cheaper. See if you can decipher these extreme cases:

UTICA CHANSON MIGRATE INVENTION ANNUAL KNOBBY SORRY IN FACTUAL BEEN CLOVER.

WEED LICHEN ICE CHEST FOREARM OTHER DISGUISE DELIMIT.

CANCEL MYOCARDIA ITS INFORMAL FUNCTION.

YEARN AFFIX, LOST UKASE, UGANDA JAIL, CONSERVE TENURES YACHT APPEAL.

EYELET SHEILA INDIA HOUSE SHEILAS TURKEY.

BOB STILT SEA, CANTANKEROUS BOAT, HUMUS GOAD IMMORTAL DECOS GUARD.

MARY SINBAD SHEER TOURNEY AUGUSTA WIND NOCTURNE TOOTHBRUSH.

WHINE YOSEMITE NAMES SOY CAN PHILATELIST.

ALBEIT DETRACT UNIVERSE EDIFY MUSTAFA TICKET TICKET IN. Show Answer

Question 35 - english/puns:
Where can I find a collection of puns? Show Answer

Question 36 - english/rare.trigraphs:
What trigraphs (three-letter combinations) occur in only one word? Show Answer

Question 36 - english/self.ref/self.ref.letters:
Construct a true sentence of the form: "This sentence contains _ a's, _ b's, _ c's, ...," where the numbers filling in the blanks are spelled out. Show Answer

Question 37 - english/self.ref/self.ref.numbers:
What true sentence has the form: "There are _ 0's, _ 1's, _ 2's, ..., in this sentence"? The "'s" can be dropped if there is only one of any number. Show Answer

Question 38 - english/self.ref/self.ref.words:
What sentence describes its own word, syllable and letter count? Show Answer

Question 39 - english/sentences/behead:
Is there a sentence that remains a sentence when all its words are beheaded? Show Answer

Question 40 - english/sentences/charades:
A ....... surgeon was ....... to operate because he had ....... Show Answer

Question 41 - english/sentences/emphasis:
List some sentences that change meaning when the emphasis is moved. Show Answer

Question 42 - english/sentences/pangram:
A "pangram" is a sentence containing all 26 letters.
What is the shortest pangram (measured by number of letters or words)?
What is the shortest word list using all 26 letters in alphabetical order?
In reverse alphabetical order? Show Answer

Question 43 - english/sentences/repeated.words:
What is a sentence with the same word several times repeated? Do not use quotation marks, proper names, a language other than English, or anything else distasteful. Show Answer

Question 44 - english/sentences/sentence:
Find a sentence with words beginning with the letters of the alphabet, in order. Show Answer

Question 45 - english/sentences/snowball:
Construct the longest coherent sentence you can such that the nth word is n letters long. Show Answer

Question 46 - english/sentences/weird:
Make a sentence containing only words that violate the "i before e" rule. Show Answer

Question 47 - english/sentences/word.boundaries:
List some sentences that can be radically altered by changing word boundaries and punctuation. Show Answer

Question 48 - english/spelling/gry:
Find three completely different words ending in "gry." Show Answer

Question 49 - english/spelling/j.ending:
What words and names end in j? Show Answer

Question 50 - english/spelling/lipograms:
What books have been written without specific letters, vowels, etc.? Show Answer

Question 51 - english/spelling/longest:
What is the longest word in the English language? Show Answer

Question 52 - english/spelling/most:
What word has the most variant spellings? Show Answer

Question 53 - english/spelling/near.palindrome:
What are some long near palindromes, i.e., words that except for one letter would be palindromes? Show Answer

Question 54 - english/spelling/operations.on.words/deletion:
What exceptional words turn into other words by deletion of letters? Show Answer

Question 55 - english/spelling/operations.on.words/insertion.and.deletion:
What exceptional words turn into other words by both insertion and deletion of letters? Show Answer

Question 56 - english/spelling/operations.on.words/insertion:
What exceptional words turn into other words by insertion of letters? Show Answer

Question 57 - english/spelling/operations.on.words/movement:
What exceptional words turn into other words by movement of letters? Show Answer

Question 58 - english/spelling/operations.on.words/substitution:
What exceptional words turn into other words by substitution of letters? Show Answer

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