Two anagram geniuses
Several years ago, without any help from a computer, I found that the letters spelling ANAGRAM GENIUS could be re-arranged to reveal his NAME IS ANU GARG. That thoroughly confused me, since I knew that William Tunstall-Pedoe, a talented Cambridge (UK) software developer and entrepreneur, was running a website called Anagram Genius, and was marketing software with that name.
AnagramGenius.com is a mecca for the world's anagrammatists. Its archives contain thousands of clever and amusing anagrams. Here's what William says in his introduction:
Did you know that rearranging the letters of "George Bush" gives "He bugs Gore", "Madonna Louise Ciccone" gives "Occasional nude income" and "William Shakespeare", "I am a weakish speller"??!
Now you can find what lurks within the letters of YOUR name, and that of your boss, employer or anything else you want!
This FREE service is based around a version of the remarkable Anagram Genius software - available to download and have running on your own computer!
"We have a number of plans for enhancing this site," says William. "We are hoping to make this site the definitive repository for information on the art of anagramming which will include some general pages on the subject including a history of anagramming, books on anagramming etc..
"This may be the best anagram site on the web but it isn't the only one. We are hoping to shortly make this the top-level anagram site with links to all other sites which are worth a visit."
William's American counterpart is Anu Garg, of Seattle, better known as founder and author of A Word A Day newsletter (of which I am copy editor). He started the Internet Anagram Server back in 1994, four years before William launched AnagramGenius.com.
Anu devotes most of his waking hours to writing and thinking about words. He enjoys all forms of word play, and is an expert anagrammatist. His website offers hundreds of funny anagrams.
Anu says on his Internet Anagram Server (I Rearrangement Servant):
Did you know that parliament is an anagram of partial men? Or, Clint Eastwood an anagram of Old West Action? Someone once said, "All life's wisdom can be found in anagrams. Anagrams never lie."
Here is your chance to discover the wisdom of anagrams. Enter the word or phrase in the form below and press. You can also get anagrams using email.
Here are some recent gems from Anu's website:
Prime Minister Tony Blair Labour Prime Minister = "More spin? True. I'm Blair!" (And be sure to check out William's hilarious selection of anagrams about his country's Prime Minister, linked below).
Royal Mail postal service = I may lose parcels to rival.
President Bush's ratings plummet George W Bush's approval ratings = War is grave, boss. Graph to plunge.
Neighbourhood louts are named and shamed Anti Social Behaviour Orders = O hubris! a controversial idea.
Beef export to Japan resumes American beef exports to Japan = Jap: Meat? Toxic an' BSE-prone fare.
Taiwan breeds green-glowing pigs Taiwanese fluorescent pigs = Porcine geniuses? Flaw: taste.
Musical celebrates its record-breaking run The Phantom of the Opera = Oh, fete the pop marathon!
Spacecraft to Bring Home Comet Dust and Clues NASA's Stardust Spacecraft = "SS Data Capturer" scans fast!
No body in Playboy India The Playboy Centrefold = Behold only pretty face.
Russians face raise in gas prices Russian gas price hike = Huge raise risks panic.
Creationism evolves into Intelligent Design Creation Science = Anti-science Core.
Why is gold rising? What has made gold so precious? = A shrewd cad's moolah - it goes up!
New York metro strike The Transit Workers' Union = Shirkers! No train went out.
New York transit strike ends New York transit strike = Yonkers wit: "Trains? Trek!"
British MP Charles Kennedy having drinking problems Liberal Democrats' Leader Charles Kennedy = See me drink claret, brandy, cold real-ales, eh?
London retires red double-deckers The London Routemaster bus = Last monster honoured. Tube?
"It is strange that 'Presbyterian' can be rearranged to 'best in prayer' and 'eleven plus two' equals 'twelve plus one'", South African newspaper columnist "The Idler" observed in the Durban Mercury.
What's the world's best anagram? For our money, it's this masterpiece a US university student, Cory Calhoun, worked out several years ago:
Shakespeare: To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Anagram: In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.
|Story first posted March 2006|
Copyright © 2006