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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Technical name for a new writing concept (Onamography)
Question: Greetings to all the experts on this panel. I appreciate the time and effort your team has been putting in to address (possibly amateurish) queries from people like me with little background of linguistics. I am the creator of a writing style (and puzzles based on it) called Onamography. It involves creatively incorporating proper nouns (company names, celebrities, etc.) in regular English sentences. A couple of examples: Onnicle 1: The man at the bar acknowledged that he found the job amateurish. Onnicle 2: The SMS said..Bob ill. The rag ate sick shellfish! The first sentence has 'Barack Obama' embedded in it and the second one has Bill Gates. The concept can be extended to include multiple names in a paragraph. The FAQ and the samples on the website ( could provide a better idea of the concept that I'm describing. I've been trying to find out if there is a technical name to describe it. One of the experts I approached mentioned that the concept is ingenious and related to oronyms. Would you be able to help out in specifying how it might be categorized? Is there a standard technical name for something like this? Cheers, Sameer
Reply: Agree with Prifathro Pyatt I do. Linguists have no techicle term for this because it has nothing to do with language. You get those "names" simply with sequences of letters, some of which are in the same word and others not. In the first "bar ack" covers two adjacent words but but the first syllable is pronounced [bar] in the sentance and not [[email protected]] (where @ is represents the last vowel of 'sofa'. In the phrase including the letters for "Obama" again it spans two words 'job ama{teurish] but the 'job ama.. is NOT pronounced [obama] but rather [ab [email protected]], where [ae] represents the vowel of 'cat'. Or 'at'. This really has nothing whatever to do with the English or any other language. It is simply a trick of English orthography outside of and totally inimical to the actual language and how it works.
Reply From: Joseph F Foster      click here to access email
Date: 14-Apr-2010
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Technical name for a new writing concept (Onamography)    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (14-Apr-2010)

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