Vitalize your writing with anagrams

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Rearranging the letters in a word or phrase to create yet another word or phrase is great fun and can afford you a playful way to perk up your prose.

By Laura Hale Brockway | Posted: July 30, 2014

Like many other Ragan and PR Daily readers, I’m always looking for ways to keep my writing fresh. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been playing around with rhetorical devices, such as alliteration, metaphors, and euphemisms.

I’ve been having the most fun with anagrams.

Anagrams are words or phrases that are formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase, using the original letters only once (dictionary: indicatory).

There are several online anagram servers for novices (Internet Anagram Server, Word Explorer, and Online Anagram Solver), but as I’ve discovered, the goal of experienced anagrammatists is to create anagrams that reflect or comment on the original word. Here are some examples:

  • a decimal point: I’m a dot in place

  • a gentleman: elegant man

  • an aisle: is a lane

  • astronomers: moon starers

  • Christmas: trims cash

  • conversation: voices rant on

  • eleven plus two: twelve plus one

  • listen: silent

  • my ideal time: immediately

  • New York Times: monkeys write

  • public relations: crap built on lies

  • Statue of Liberty: built to stay free

  • the nudist colony: no untidy clothes

  • vacation time: I am not active

  • Western Union: no wire unsent

  • William Shakespeare: I’ll make a wise phrase

And of course…

PR Daily: idly rap

I was unable to find an anagram for the word anagram.

Though it may not be easy to work anagrams into your writing, playing around with online anagram servers can help galvanize your creativity. Give it a try.

Ragan readers, what are some of your favorite anagrams?

Laura Hale Brockway is writer and editor from Austin, Texas. She is a regular contributor to PR Daily and the author of the grammar/usage/random thoughts blog, impertinentremarks.com.  

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