Word Ways


Eric W. Chaikin


FOUNDING FATHERS and WOMAN SUFFRAGISTS, get out your FOUNTAIN PENS-it's time for another visit to the world of AEIOU. To do justice to my fascination with all things AEIOU, I recently introduced the term SUPERVOCALIC to refer to any item, be it word, phrase or proper noun, containing each of the five vowels once and only once, and no Y. The term is modeled on the existing word 'univocalic' which describes a word or phrase that contains only one vowel (potentially repeated, as in 'Mississippi' or Ellen DeGeneres'). It has the added appeal of being self-referential, that is to say 'supervocalic' it self supervocalic.