Word Ways



In the February 1998 Word Ways, Richard Lederer used the term "vowel movements" to describe those rather musical sets of five words identical but for one letter which runs the gamut of the vowels. These were first introduced to Word Ways by Dmitri Borgmann in August 1968, who cited last lest list lost lust and asked readers to find a word set allowing the letter Y to be included as well. This was accomplished by Darryl Francis in August 1975 with math meth mith moth muth myth, to which several readers added other examples such as Dane dene dine done dune dyne and pale pele pile pole pule pyle. In the August 1989 Word Ways, Ira Brilliant repopened the question, asking for the longest possible five-vowel examples. He offered blander blender blinder blonder lunder and patting petting pitting potting putting, plus longer examples using obscure or archaic words; Jeff Grant trumped him with blathering blethering blithering blothering bluthering and slathering slethering slithering slothering sluthering, John Foster offered additional examples, none as long as Jeff Grant's, in February 1994.