Ken Jennings

Message Boards

Monovocalics

The place to talk. "On topic"? "Off topic"? We make no such petty distinctions here.

Monovocalics

Postby rosebud » Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:42 am

Alan Alda comes to mind...
rosebud
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:49 am

Postby Trivia Why's Guy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:07 pm

Jack as Mark had had had had had had had had had had had as bad a mark

My twist on an old punctuation puzzle. Definitely whatever, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.

--
Robert Jen, the Trivia Why's Guy (whysguy@triviawhys.com)
Trivia Why's books
Trivia Why's blog
Trivia Why's Guy
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:23 pm
Location: Boston

Postby malonetd » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:54 pm

Oconomowoc: a city outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Casablanca

Takahama, Japan

Frank Zappa

The Bee Gees

Gangsta, Gangsta: song by NWA
malonetd
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:52 am
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Postby missbitesalot » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:21 pm

The most obvious one to me: abracadabra.

Can't think of any others...
missbitesalot
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:08 pm
Location: Olympia, WA

Postby polarea » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:59 pm

A bunch of the Indian states come to mind, I bet you could find a number of cities and districts to go in front of these. Admittedly A is easier than say "U" though.

Maharashtra
Rajasthan
Karnataka
Jharkhand
Assam
Nagaland

eg.
Marathwada, Maharashtra
Ganganagar, Rajasthan (There's also a district called Jhunjhunu)
Chamarajanagar, Karnataka (Karnataka also contains the Nilgiri Hills)
Jamtara, Jharkhand
Cachar, Assam
Last edited by polarea on Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
polarea
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:50 pm

Postby bwouns » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:04 pm

For that matter, a bunch of U.S. states quallify as well.
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey and Tennessee.

Maryland doesn't count because its y acts as a vowel, but New Jersey does because its y is a consonant.

This would make Manhattan, Kansas the largest monovocalic city/state combo in the U.S.

In addition there are two world capitals - Accra, Ghana and Astana, Kazakhstan (for that matter, its former capital Alma Ata)

Another major city - Kowloon, Hong Kong
bwouns
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:31 am
Location: Eugene, OR

Postby ranjolie » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:29 pm

Jack Black
ranjolie
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:49 pm

Postby Craig S. Cottingham » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:08 pm

I asked Earl to find me some cool monovocalics–phrases that use only one vowel, though repeated many times. He was having a hard time finding automated criteria to sort the good ones from the lame ones, so now that Perl has failed us, I’m turning to actual humans.

I'm guessing this wasn't what you were looking for?
Code: Select all
perl -ne 'print "$_" if /^[^aeiou]*([aeiou])\1*([^aeiou]+\1*)*$/i' /usr/share/dict/words

Mac OS X comes with a dictionary file in /usr/share/dict/words; you may need to find a suitable dictionary file somewhere else.

When I run this script, I get 18176 matches (out of 234937 total words). They're not phrases, and I suppose that sorting "the good ones from the lame ones" is a task better suited to humans anyway.

The gamut is run, from "aardvark" to "zoopsychology". I especially got a kick out of "archcharlatan", which apparently (according to Google) exists in the wild only on web pages containing either "lorem ipsum"-style text or which are designed to attract searches for the word "archcharlatan". :-)
Craig S. Cottingham
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:53 pm
Location: Olathe, KS

Postby rockgolf » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:14 am

My webname "RockGolf" came from an internet quiz game I created. The idea was to ask a question with multiple valid answers that were either a song title or an artist name. Your score was based on the total of the highest Billboard chart position acheived by the song/artist + the number of people who came up with the same answer. As in golf, low score won.

Example: Name a pop star who died in a plane crash. Lots of choices, several had #1 hits, but if 6 people said Buddy Holly, two answered John Denver and only one person answered Jim Croce, the person who gave Croce would win the round, since each act had a #1 single.

All of this is a prefix to saying that one question I had asked for an act whose name contained only one vowel, but it could be repeated. Lots of people went for short names like Abba, but only one person found Sarah McLachlan.

Any interest in trying a variation on the game in the message board? I'd like to call it One vs. Infinity.
rockgolf
 
Posts: 2216
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:31 am
Location: Brampton

Postby polarea » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:03 am

Sounds like an awesome game, I'll probably do horribly (music and sports are the two reasons I'd probably never do well on a quiz show), but I'm in for at least an effort. There are a zillion songs that I know I like, would recognize instantly and all that jazz, but would never know the name of/artist. So I guess everyone has to post their guess in white a few lines down to avoid the grey, and promise not to look at anyone else's answer before answering? Or do you do it through the PM's?
polarea
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:50 pm

Postby econgator » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:07 am

Surprised no one has posted this one:

A man, a plan, a canal -- Panama!
econgator
 
Posts: 3631
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby WhitePhantom » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:57 pm

bwouns wrote:Maryland doesn't count because its y acts as a vowel, but New Jersey does because its y is a consonant.

How is the y in New Jersey a consonant?
We have Lenny and Jimmy and me and...Faye.
-Guy Patterson on bass players
WhitePhantom
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:54 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Postby bwouns » Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:38 pm

The 'e' in that syllable is the vowel. The 'y' acts as a consonant, doesn't it?
bwouns
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:31 am
Location: Eugene, OR

Postby econgator » Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:44 pm

The way I usually look at it is this: I replace the 'y' with an 'i'. If it still 'looks' right and 'sounds' right, then the 'y' is a likely vowel. I think it was a lot more to do with the sound of it, but close enough. :)

So, yeah, in Mariland, it's a vowel. In New Jersei it isn't.
econgator
 
Posts: 3631
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby ArtVark » Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:34 am

My reaction on hearing some new today was:

Oh, no. Don Ho.

Which is both monovocalic and a palindrome.
ArtVark
 
Posts: 1718
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:21 pm
Location: Pacific Palisades, Ca.

Postby econgator » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:09 am

ArtVark wrote:My reaction on hearing some new today was:

Oh, no. Don Ho.

Which is both monovocalic and a palindrome.


I got the palindrome about six posts up. ;)
econgator
 
Posts: 3631
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby Ken Jennings » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:22 pm

bwouns wrote:The 'e' in that syllable is the vowel. The 'y' acts as a consonant, doesn't it?


Except that vowels go together all the time. The "ey" in Jersey is a diphthong. Consider "boil" and "Boyle." If the 'i' in boil is a vowel, so is the 'y' in Boyle, and therefore Jersey.

Sesame Street has been brought to you by...
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Postby bwouns » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:36 pm

I was thinking the 'y' in Jersey acts in pretty much the same way as the 'y' in 'eye'. That's where my logic was coming from. I think its pretty clear that it is a consonant in that case.
bwouns
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:31 am
Location: Eugene, OR

Postby Steven » Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:38 pm

As many of you probably know, the famous French writer George Perec wrote a novel called 'Les Revenentes' in which only the vowel 'e ' is used (translated in English as 'The Exeter Text: Jewels, Secrets, Sex')

Who tops that one?

(Btw he also wrote one in which the vowel 'e' is not used, which is pretty hard in French, called 'La Disparition', translated as 'A Void')
Steven
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Belgium

Postby themanwho » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:13 pm

bwouns wrote:I was thinking the 'y' in Jersey acts in pretty much the same way as the 'y' in 'eye'. That's where my logic was coming from. I think its pretty clear that it is a consonant in that case.


I'm not convinced the "y" in "eye" isn't a vowel, too. It's certainly not pronounced as a consonant. In fact, I'd say it isn't pronounced at all. The three letters together in that combination are pronounced "I", which is a vowel pronunciation. Unless you're a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher, and at the judgment day you're looking Gaw-ud right in the ey-yuh; then it's a consonant.

The letters "ey" in "Jersey" are pronounced as a long "e", which is also a vowel sound. When I differentiate between "sometimes y" being a vowel or a consonant, I go by pronunciation.

-M
Not clear at all.
themanwho
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:21 am
Location: Sioux Falls, SD

Postby Ken Jennings » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:28 pm

Yeah, I would have assumed the y in "eye" is obviously a vowel, but I'd be interested to hear arguments otherwise.

The interesting cases are words like "layer" where the hermaphroditic 'y' seems to act as *both*.
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Postby polarea » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:41 pm

It's interesting, because when you think about it, y is never a consonant in the way that you (meaning I) think of consonants. To me (any linguist in the room please correct my amateur theorizing), a consonant is defined by some type of interuption of the flow of sound from the vocal chords or the lungs. "y" is clearly a vowel in the cases of words like witty, iffy, Chelsy, whatever (pronounced "eee"). In words like yard, you, yak, yup, yip, all the "y" means is essentially "Put an abbreviated "eee" sound before the main vowel sound of the word." So I don't know if I really agree with this idea that "y" can be a consonant by any meaningful definition, except perhaps some definition where consonants are letters that frame the main (or long) "vowel" letters and sounds of a word. Think of the way you pronounce the word "eye" (weirdly the same way you pronounce "I"): to me, it is a transition from the sound "ah" to the sound "ee" without any consonant sounds in between, so unless you are using a definition of consonant that has no regard for sound, the y in "eye" cannot be a consonant.

But now I've confused myself, because clearly there is a difference between the sound of "ye" and "eee", but I can't figure out what right now.

Edit: Oops, I missed the last two posts before posting this eerily similar post to the last two.

2nd edit: I have a new theory that maybe the defining characteristic of Y as consonant is a tiny expelling of air after the abbreviated "eee" sound, making it impossible for a word to end in a Y as consonant, because of the inability to distinguish that air from the beginning of the "word gap". Wow, am I ever getting into territory that I don't have the vocab for. I guess I better get out of my head and onto the internet.

I do remember reading somewhere that some language, (maybe arabic?) has two sounds for the consonant "c", one with a little bit of expelled air afterwards, and one without, and speakers of that language can distinguish the two and have words with different meanings with or without expelled air. English speakers always have a bit of air expelled afterwards, and can't pronounce or distinguish the other way. Okay, now I'm really going to look stuff up.
polarea
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:50 pm

Postby econgator » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:06 pm

This goes to what you posted, polarea:

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/ ... ry?view=uk
econgator
 
Posts: 3631
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby polarea » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:14 pm

This site has a way better definition of consonant than mine, but strangely my definition is much closer to the dictionary definition...

http://www.decoz.com/Y_vowel-consonant.htm

And this site claims that the y in "eye" is indeed a consonant

Edit: But maybe by this definition, "s" could be a vowel? Alright my head is hurting: off to bed for me.
polarea
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:50 pm

Postby polarea » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:23 pm

econgator wrote:This goes to what you posted, polarea:

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/ ... ry?view=uk


That makes a lot of sense, thanks.
polarea
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:50 pm

Next

Return to Main Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron