Word Ways


A. Ross Eckler


In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes (Andy Warhol, 1968)

Not world-famous, and for less than ten minutes ... but on December 12 2010 I saw myself portrayed by a professional actor to an audience of 35 on an off-Broadway (Jersey City) stage. The 90-minute one-act play, "Logomaniacs" bu Paul Fleischman, consisted of short sketches of 26 wordplay notables, one for each letter of the alphabet, from Walter Abish who wrote Alphabetical Africa ("Ages ago, Alex, Allan and Alva arrived at Antibes...") to Ludwig Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, including Howard Chace who invented Anguish Languish ("Ladle Rat Rotten Hut"), Ignatius Donnelly who insisted that Francis Bacon was the author of Shakespeare's plays, Georges Perec who wrote both the E-less novel La Disparation and its E-full counterpart Les Revelentes, Colonel Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune who advocated spelling reform, and Arthur Whynne who constructed the first crossword in 1913.