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Works of literature that were really hard to write
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2010/12/13
5:04pm
dhenderson
Sunnyvale, CA
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I encountered this on Mental Floss today and thought it might be of interest here. I know *I* enjoyed it.

Regards,

Dan

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
2010/12/14
10:00am
telemath
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Very cool. Thanks!

Re #1: Gadsby is an example of “constrained-writing,” a practice advocated by a french group called Oulipo. My favorite bit of constrained writing is “Poe E., Near A Raven,” which is a retelling of Poe’s famous poem “The Raven”. It keeps nearly the same meter and number of verses, tells the same story, and encodes Pi as the number of digits of each word: Poe (3) E. (1), Near (4) A (1) Raven (5) -> 3.1415. The entire poem represents pi to 740 digits.

Re #8: Friends of mine and I have played a game for years we call “Spline” (though I can’t say why it’s called that). We take a movie/tv quote and replace the words with similar sounding words, so that it sounds the same (or as close to the same as we can make it), when read aloud. We challenge each other to figure out the quote, then name the speaker and the show. A few years after we started doing this, they came out with the game “Mad Gab”, which does the same thing for common phrases and names. Here are a few of our splines:

LIE FIZZ LYE CAB OX OFF CHALK LITS

AISLE BIDE AT FOE RAID ALL OUR

DUE WAR DUNE OUGHT THEY’RE HIS NOTE RYE

WARN AWE TIN CANS SASS AN KNEE MOWER TOTE OWE

WATT TIS SURE MAY GERM AL FUNK SHIN

LOOSE HE JEW COTS OHMS PLAIN INTO DUE

SAIL LOW TOMB MILE IT HILL FRAN

HI MA DOCKED TORN AUGHT TAB RICK LAY HER

WEED OWN HE’D NOSE TEEN KEEN BAT JAZZ

GAY MOE FIRM ANNE

2010/12/14
1:01pm
Ron Draney
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There’s a very funny game on YouTube associated with the name “Buffalax”. It started with an Indian music video to which a user added captions saying what the words sound like to someone who understands only English.

Since then he’s applied the same technique to other Indian songs, others have extended it to songs in other languages (like this one by a favorite Chinese singer of mine), and finally an assortment of national anthems (to which I won’t link because some of the “misheard lyrics” are pretty offensive).

It’s a little harder to do it within the same language, but as the existence of “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut” proves it’s still possible, I started working on one of the United States national anthem. Got as far as “Hose ache and use heap, eiderdown surly lye” before breaking down.

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