Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Help, 've lst t mny vwels!"

A constrained writing prompt landed in my mail box today in Anu Garg's Wordsmith.org's Word A Day. And it's a contest too.

We've done lipograms where you're forbidden to use a letter or letters in each word and anti-lipograms where you must use a letter or letters. (Click Constrained writing over on the right for more.)

A univocalic is a piece of writing that uses only one of the vowels, an example for e is: "Help the peerless letter e perfect sentences."

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?

If you get stumped for substitute words, try the thesaurus at The Free Dictionary.

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 Anu Garg's latest book The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words.

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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