Anger? ‘Tis safe never. Bar it! Use love.
Spell that backward and you get:
Evoles ut ira breve nefas sit; regna!
Which is Latin for:
Rise up, in order that your anger may be but a brief madness; control it!
What do these sentences have in common?
They’re all precisely the same length.
Show this bold Prussian that praises slaughter, slaughter brings rout. Teach this slaughter-lover his fall nears.
Grim, no? But remove the first letter of each word and the mood changes:
How his old Russian hat raises laughter — laughter rings out! Each, his laughter over, is all ears.
“Language,” wrote Flaubert, “is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.”
v. to act like a person of the 19th century
Arithmetic is easy in Spanish — just rearrange letters:
UNO + CATORCE = CUATRO + ONCE
DOS + TRECE = TRES + DOCE
DOCE + TRES = TRECE + DOS
n. a scarcity of men
n. a scarcity of women
The smallest integer whose name includes all five vowels is ONE THOUSAND FIVE.
The word LOVE displays a perfect symmetry in the English alphabet: its letters are evenly distributed around the center.
n. death from overwork
n. a normally peaceful person who has become suddenly enraged or violent
Literally, “angry sheep.”
Samuel Johnson’s 1755 dictionary defines garret as “a room on the highest floor of the house.”
It defines cockloft as “the room over the garret.”
n. one who has left civilization and returned to the wilderness
Sarah Bishop was a young lady of considerable beauty, a competent share of mental endowments and education; she possessed a handsome fortune, but was of a tender and delicate constitution, enjoyed but a precarious state of health, and could scarcely be comfortable without constant recourse to medicine and careful attendance. She was often heard to say that she had no dread of any animal on earth but man. Disgusted with her fellow-creatures, she withdrew from all human society, and at the age of about twenty-seven, in the bloom of life, resorted to the mountains which divide Salem from North Salem: where she has spent her days to the present time, in a cave, or rather cleft of the rock, withdrawn from the society of every living being.
– G.H. Wilson, The Eccentric Mirror, 1813
n. the full moon
In a 1961 letter to his aunt, J.R.R. Tolkien declared that this word is beautiful even before it is understood, and wished he could have the pleasure of meeting it again for the first time. “And surely the first meeting should be in a living context, and not in a dictionary, like dried flowers in a hortus siccus!”
Make the following experiment: say ‘It’s cold here’ and mean ‘It’s warm here.’ Can you do it? — And what are you doing as you do it? And is there only one way of doing it?
– Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1953
First ladies rule the state, and state the rule: “Ladies first.”
That’s equally true whether it’s read forward or backward.
adj. using pretentious words
n. the milking of cows
We have heard of the fall of Lucifer, and the fall of Cromwell, and the fall of Wolsey, but one of the pleasantest tumbles upon record was that of a Mr. John Fell, who, when he removed from one part of the metropolis to another, wrote over his door—I Fell from Holborn Hill.
– A Collection of Newspaper Extracts, 1842
Whittle it a little, it’ll fit.
A noisy noise annoys a noisy Noyes.
The Icelandic sentence Barbara Ara bar Ara araba bara rabbabara, besides being fun to say, is spelled with only three letters. It means “Barbara, daughter of Ari, brought only rhubarb to Ari the Arab.” (Thanks, Sigurður.)
adj. friendly to strangers
If a train remains at the station from two to two to two-two (from 1:58 to 2:02), a passenger who misses it must wait from two-two to two to two.
Tom, while playing a game of Scrabble against Dick, who, while considering the last word that Harry (who had had HAD) had had had had, had had HAD, had had HAD. Had HAD had more letters, he would have played it.
Wouldn’t the sentence “I want to insert a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish And Chips sign” have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips — and after Chips?
Every spring, the town of March in Cambridgeshire holds a “long, flat, pointless walk” across the Fens to Cambridge. “It has no purpose other than to be called the March March march.” There is an associated song, which is sometimes called the “March March March March.”
– The Nic-Nac; or, Oracle of Knowledge, March 29, 1823
n. the study of lighthouses
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE is an anagram of I AM A WEAKISH SPELLER.