People who can recite a word's letters alphabetically

Lynne Murphy M_Lynne_Murphy at BAYLOR.EDU
Wed Dec 1 19:55:37 UTC 1999

Well, if she had the opposite ability and were able to take an alphabetical
list of letters and tell you what word it could be, then we'd call her a
"really good Scrabble player."

Lynne, a pretty good Scrabble player

Paul McFedries wrote:

> 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?
> Paul
> Books:
> Word Spy:


M. Lynne Murphy, Assistant Professor in Linguistics
Department of English, Baylor University
PO Box 97404, Waco, TX 76798 USA
Phone:  254-710-6983     Fax:  254-710-3894

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