Word Ways

Article Title

On Writing Lipograms


Why is it that writers usually omit E, the most common letter in English text, when creating a literary lipogram. I believe that this tendency has been reinforced by the existence of the only book-length English-language lipogram, Ernest V. Wright's E-less novel, Gadsby. In fact, its influence may have extended even to France. OuLiPo member Georges Perec constructed La Disparation without using the letter E; some of the book's reviewers did not even realize that it was a lipogram!