Q From Gord Forsythe: I’m sure I have seen a short story (maybe it was very short) that was written without the use of the letter e. Have you ever come across such an item?
A There are several examples of works written without using some letter of the alphabet. Usually e is left out, perhaps because that’s one of the most frequently found and so presents the greatest challenge (for example, you can’t use such common words as the, use or are). Some of these works are quite long. Examples are Gadsby, a 50,000-word novel published by Ernest Vincent Wright in 1939, and George Perec’s French-language novel La Disparition of 1969, which was translated into English in 1995 as A Void. Such works are called lipograms, from the Greek lipogrammatos, “missing a letter”. And James Thurber once wrote a story about pirates who banned the use of “o” on an island, The Wonderful O, which is about the problem of leaving out a letter rather than an example of the type.
Search World Wide Words
Recently added pieces
Mammock; Mx; Stepney; Vape; Bridegroom; Lilly-low; The Language Myth by Vyvyan Evans; Boot and trunk; Zoilism; Fish-faced; Poach; Immensikoff; Habiliments; The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker; Agister; The Word at War; Not so green as you’re cabbage-looking.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!