I work at a law firm with a rather long name. Once upon a time, the name was shorter, and a sign on the wall behind my desk told any literate who came in what place they’d entered. But since certain partners left that position, and other associates stepped up to fill it, the sign behind my desk became defunct.
At first, we simply removed it from the wall – not without trepidation, for we feared that it was affixed with something sterner than four screws hidden behind elaborate caps – and stuck it in the Room of Many Filing Cabinets. But eventually someone wondered whether it were necessary for any of that precious space to be occupied by an obsolete sign, and on pulling it out, wondered whether the silver letters might be detached. Our court runner, on finding a hammer, discovered the answer to be “yes,” which is how I came to have in my possession 25 assorted letters, a comma (or apostrophe!), and (to my delight) an ampersand.
Were you to ask why I found it necessary to collect these letters and marks of punctuation, I would have but the poor answer that I might at some point have need of labeling something in a very bold and grandiose fashion. The sad fact, however, is that the 25 letters in my keeping are proving difficult to work with. I have a large A, large L, and large Z, and the smaller letters A A C E E E E E I K L L L M N N P R S X. Most unfortunate is the utter lack of T’s, O’s, and U’s – and atop that I have but one I, one R, and one S.
Anyone familiar with my less-savory habits will know how much of my time is ill-spent on WordTwist, and how looking at a collection of letters immediately sets the neurons to work. Spread out on my desk right now are lack, peck, peal, leap, peel, pee, lee, eel, ell, cell, all, pale, call, calk, clam, clad, calm, alms, aim, aims, reel, leerl ear, era, are, earl, real, ran, ranee…I shall stop now before the fever overtakes me completely, as my desk has no timer on it like the game does.
What words can I form that are worth fashioning? If it weren’t for the one R, I’d stick “MISERERE” on my wall, a constant prayer (and the only one I can think of without any O’s).
This is rather like playing with those poetry magnets found on so many mini-fridges in college, which are always one state-of-being verb short of making sense: Men kneel. …Men need ale. Isle capelle (wherever or whatever that might be). Cake. Caked in sleep. Axle & Rese (which I can only say is Rose before some significant vowel shift). Meaner slink. Keepin’ Max & Elle all scared. Make space! Zeal!
Have you suggestions? Make all, pal!