Word Ways

Article Title

Word Strings


Tom Pulliam


The word SARI can be converted into the word ARID by deleting the first letter and adding a letter at the end; the words RIDE, IDEA, and DEAD can be successively formed in the same manner. Historically, such a sequence of words has been known as a word stair, in recognition of its appearance if each word is offset underneath its predecessor, with identical letters in a column. However, a much more compact notation is achieved by a single row of letters, such as SARIDEAD, which can be called a word string.