People who can recite a word's letters alphabetically

Paul McFedries lists at MCFEDRIES.COM
Wed Dec 1 20:49:48 UTC 1999

The Strange Word Requests Department:

A reader wrote to me and claimed she had the ability to hear any word
and then immediately recite its letters alphabetically. For example,
given the word "dialect," she would immediately respond "a c d e i l t".
She said she even saw someone on Letterman who could do this. (This was,
no doubt, a Stupid Human Trick.) She wanted to know if there is a name
for someone with such an ability. (An "alphaletrist," perhaps?) Does
anyone know if such a word exists?

Word Spy:

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