Word Ways


A. Ross Eckler


Specialized dictionaries are becoming an increasingly important tool for the serious logologist. Martin Gardner, in his "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American for November 1965, cited Nicholas Temperley's proposal that devotees of wordplay produce an anagram dictionary. (Apparently he was unaware of Charles Haertzen's Vest-Pocket Anagram Dictionary, published by Follett in 1964.) A second dictionary of logological value is one that lists words in reverse-alphabetical order. Several of these exist, the most readily available being John Walker's The Rhyming Dictionary of the English Language, first published nearly 200 years ago (I have the Dutton 1936 edition), and the most extensive being the Normal and Reverse English Word List compiled at the University of Pennsylvania under an Air Force Contract, and issued in 1963.