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Making the Alphabet Dance: Recreational Wordplay [Hardcover]

Ross Eckler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1996 0312140320 978-0312140328 First Edition- First Printing
The grand master of American word play presents a life's work of the most challenging linguistic games and puzzles that have stumped word lovers for decades. Examples include acrostics, palindromes, homonyms, anagrams, lipograms, word squares, cadences, and isograms. 30 diagrams.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; First Edition- First Printing edition (Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312140320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312140328
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,271,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Ross Eckler's latest book on wordplay is destined to become a milestone in recreational linguistics. It is second only to Dmitri Borgmann's 1965 classic Language on Vacation. Eckler's offering should bring recreational linguistics (or wordplay, or logology) to a whole new generation of word enthusiasts. Great, great, great.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Ross Eckler's latest book on wordplay is destined to become a milestone in recreational linguistics. It is second only to Dmitri Borgmann's 1965 classic Language on Vacation. Eckler's offering should bring recreational linguistics (or wordplay, or logology) to a whole new generation of word enthusiasts. Great, great, great.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of information, lots of errors 10 Oct 1997
By giunta@maple.lemoyne.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book addresses letter and word play in such breadth as to command authority. The frequency of errors in its examples and tables, however, gives an opposite impression. I soon found myself playing a different game than any described in the text: looking for errors. (For example, a lipogram supposedly lacking the letter H contains the word "the"; another supposedly lacking the letter A contains the word "day" (p. 4). At least 3 of 100 purported palindromes on pp. 32-4 are not quite: "Tense I 'snap' Sharon's roses, or Norah's pansies net"; "Evil is the name of a foeman as I live"; "Stephen, my lad--ah, what a hymn, eh, pets?") I found 11 in the first 50 pages, and I would not be surprised if I missed some. Then I quit: it was less challenging than most of the play described in the book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book for lovers of the English language. 8 Feb 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Firstly, Ross Eckler is truly a grand master. He presents the distillation of several decades of study of the subject. I read the book almost in one sitting, cover to cover, and discovered many new and fascinating word plays. For example:

a) Exquisite 'e-less' texts, i.e. texts without the letter 'e'
b) Phenomenally palindromic dialogues (e.g.
ADAM: Madam, I'm Adam.
EVE: Name of a foeman?
ADAM: O, stone me! Not so.
EVE: Mad! A maid I am, Adam.
This goes on for two pages with every sentence by Adam and Eve being palindromic)
c) Amazing acrostics
d) Challenging 'chain-link' sentences. (e.g. tHE HElicoptER ERneST SToLE LEavES EScaPE PErilous etc.)
e) Tantalizing transpositions (e.g. five transpositions of an eight letter word; alerting, altering, integral, relating, triangle)
f) Transpositional poetry (e.g. there is a beautiful sonnet about 'Washington crossing the Delaware' and each line of the sonnet uses the alphabets in the phrase above)
g) Appropriate anagrams (e.g. DORMITORY, dirty rook; A GENTLEMAN, elegant man etc.)

There are two similar books that readers may find interesting.

1) A pleasure in words by Eugene T. Maleska, published by Hamish Hamilton, 1983

2) The play of words by Richard Lederer, published by Pocket Books, 1990

Thank you Mr. Eckler and Happy Reading to all.

Ravi Apte
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, second only to Borgmann's classic LOV. 19 Jun 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ross Eckler's latest book on wordplay is destined to become a milestone in recreational linguistics. It is second only to Dmitri Borgmann's 1965 classic Language on Vacation. Eckler's offering should bring recreational linguistics (or wordplay, or logology) to a whole new generation of word enthusiasts. Great, great, great
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wordplay Classic 28 Oct 2013
By Christopher D. Long - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ross Eckler's "Making the Alphabet Dance: Recreational Wordplay" is one of the classics of wordplay and recreational linguistics. Eckler was the editor of the top publication in this area, "Word Ways", for many years, and the consequent breadth and depth of his knowledge is reflected in the very high quality of each topic covered. It's a more analytical approach to wordplay than books such as the Lynne Truss "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", more similar in spirit to Dmitri Borgmann's iconic "Language on Vacation", but no less entertaining in spirit or in style. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, second only to Borgmann's classic LOV. 19 Jun 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ross Eckler's latest book on wordplay is destined to become a milestone in recreational linguistics. It is second only to Dmitri Borgmann's 1965 classic Language on Vacation. Eckler's offering should bring recreational linguistics (or wordplay, or logology) to a whole new generation of word enthusiasts. Great, great, great
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