Language on Vacation by Dmitri Borgmann

Language on Vacation: An Olio of Orthographical OdditiesLanguage on Vacation: An Olio of Orthographical Oddities by Dmitri A. Borgmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This fascinating book is more in the nature of a reference book than a non-fiction discourse. It catalogs wordplay in every form imaginable: palindromes, anagrams, beheadments, tautonymic reversals, anchored transposals, antigrams, pangrams, acrostics, isograms, and many more. Much of it is presented in the form of puzzles where the reader is invited to try to identify the anagram, etc. Most of these are lengthy and difficult. Answers are provided in the back section, which can make it tedious if you are just interested in reading about the wordplay and not taking the quizzes. The book would be an excellent resource for puzzlemakers, crossword enthusiasts, and bloggers who write about wordplay (like me). There are humorous bits and the writing style is lighthearted and playful, not pedantic. The book was written in 1965 and is no doubt out of print. I skimmed through a library copy, but it isn’t something one can sit down and read straight through. While the book isn’t for everybody, those with an interest in the topic will enjoy it.

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