Has this topic ever been discussed before?

Henry Mullish hqm2011 at NYU.EDU
Mon Nov 17 09:25:07 UTC 2003


I have been recommended to enquire of this group about the following. In typing -- either on a typewriter or a word processor -- it is quite common to see words containing transpositions. In this age of word processors which contain spell-checkers, the possibility of creating transpositions has been considerably lessened -- but not completely. I present below a list of pairs of words in which two adjacent letters have been transposed and create a completely different word with a different meaning. These transpositions of each other would not be detected by a spell-checker, since both words appear in a standard English dictionary. If this phenomenon has not been discussed before, I suggest that these pairs of words be called 'duotransponyms'. Here is my current list of words:

ble bale; acre care; act cat; aft fat; amid maid; amp map; angel angle; apt pat; arid raid; arm ram; art rat; awry wary; barn bran; best bets; blot bolt; bust buts; calm clam; carve crave; cast cats; clot colt; cost cots; dart drat; does odes; ear era; farmer framer; fast fats; field filed; files flies; fist fits; form from; gaps gasp; just juts; lair liar; lest lets; lost lots; mast mats; mist mits; nest nets; nuclear unclear; opt pot; owe woe; own won; past pats; perfect prefect; pest pets; ploy poly; rasp raps; roes rose; run urn; sacred scared; salve slave; sap spa; silt slit; there three; tide tied; tired tried; trail trial; vast vats; vest vets; warp wrap; wist wits;

Would anyone care to add to this list? I suspect that in the English language there are several hundred of them.

Henry Mullish

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