Doublets: From amok to updo in 14 easy steps

I recently stumbled across a nice word game called “Doublets”, invented by Lewis Carroll. It goes like this. Player 1 writes two words with the same number of letters, say “cone” and “hoof”. Player 2 must then find a chain of words, each of them differing by one letter, which starts at the first word … More Doublets: From amok to updo in 14 easy steps

Top English is more readable than Bottom English

The coolest thing about the following text is that you can read it. Indeed, it has been known for quite a while that people hardly read individual letters. Familiar words are instantly recognized, and idioms, common phrases, and logical extensions from context all make reading much faster than if we had read words letter by … More Top English is more readable than Bottom English

Whatshisname’s Theorem

Maybe it’s because I recently read Contact and 2001: A Space Odyssey; perhaps it’s the glorious recent exoplanet reports from analysis of Kepler data; or it could just be random fluctuations; but lately I’ve been thinking about how lovely it would be to finally establish first contact with an alien civilization. As fun as intergalactic … More Whatshisname’s Theorem

A Reason For Preserving Current Language

Fæder úre, ðú ðe eart on heofonum, Sí ðín nama gehálgod. Tó becume ðín rice. Gewurde ðín willa On eorþan swá swá on heofonum. Urne dægwhamlícan hlaf syle ús tódæg. And forgyf ús úre gyltas, Swá swá wé forgyfaþ úrum gyltendum. And ne gelæd ðu ús on costnunge, Ac álýs ús of yfele. Sóþlice. There … More A Reason For Preserving Current Language