Word Ways

Article Title

Four out of Five


In Beyond Language (p. 279) Dmitri Borgmann says, "... (The) word AZOXY is a milestone of sorts in the field of wordplay: if we write the alphabet along the circumference of a circle ... then four of the five letters in AZOXY -- the letters X, Y, Z, A -- appear consecutively in our circular alphabet. Very few, indeed, are the five-letter words that can make such a claim!" Mr. Borgmann was referring to The American Illustrated Medical Dictionary where AZOXY is given as the first part of the two-word entry AZOXY COMPOUND. We can accept AZOXY as a word on its own merits, however, since Webster's Third New International (NI3) gives it sanction.