ARTICLE - The strawberry and the bear – Let’s make anagrams!

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ARTICLE - The strawberry and the bear – Let’s make anagrams!

Post  Vincent Law on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:43 pm

Do you know what the following words have in common? Strawberry, bear, raw, war, stab, try, web, wry, rat and bat. At first sight, nothing but if you look more closely you will see that all of them are made up of the letters of the word ”strawberry”. That is, they are anagrams of the word and you probably know what that is if you have ever read Dan Brown’s incredibly famous The Da Vinci Code. In fact, a real anagram would contain all the letters of the original word but let`s not make our lives too difficult!

But why would you spend your precious time making anagrams when you don’t happen to be reading Dan Brown? I have a few reasons for you.

1. Use it as a vocabulary booster:
This is especially useful when learning a foreign language but you can do it in your native language, too. It’s fun! Just look up a few nice words in a dictionary (go for the long ones with a selection of vowels) and I bet you’ll find enough words to entertain yourself for a while.

2. Improve your poetic skills:
And what are you supposed to do with all these words when you have them? You could try and put them all in the same text! I will refrain from doing so with the above list of random words but it’s not impossible. Why not produce a meaningful contemporary poem about the bear and the rat who went to war?

3. Prevent senility:
Do you often forget where you’ve put your keys? Do you have difficulty memorizing texts? Let’s stop this dangerous process of going senile prematurely. Exercise your brain with anagrams! There are no guarantees, though. Sorry.

4. Solve mysteries:
Since you can produce complete sentences using anagrams, they are naturally a good opportunity for avid mystery solvers. It is especially true if you are brave enough to attempt creating a real anagram: not leaving any letters of the original out. If you need quick results, use an anagram and scrabble solver. Also, can you find strange patterns in a political statement? If yes, you could make up your very own conspiracy theory using anagrams. Warning: before attaching too much importance to anagrams, we should probably decide if the mystery of the universe is in fact written in English.

Finally, I have a beautiful long word for you: examination. How many words can you make from its letters (hint: there are at least twelve!)
Vincent Law
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