One of my numerous interests is anagrams. To be more accurate not only anagrams, but also cryptic crosswords, Scrabble, etymology and word associations. Anagrams are basically scrambled or reassembled words using the same letters as the original word, and occur in most languages. They can certainly teach us a lot.
Take companies for instance. MICROSOFT is an anagram for FORMS I T CO. So did Bill really have any choice in the matter, or was a cosmic Ministry of Letter Reassignment responsible?
Our national electricity supplier is known as ESKOM, an anagram of SMOKE. Is it any wonder they have so many problems when their anagram is like the smoggy Witbank air on a winter’s morning near one of their power stations?
We also have a national oil from coal producer called SASOL which also runs hundreds of 24 hour petrol stations / convenience stores throughout the country. How do they make a profit when they are an anagram of A LOSS?
MICHELIN may need to update their tourism maps according to their anagram INCH: MILE, which would actually be quite a straightforward scale to use.
How does a board of directors keep their sanity during meetings when the anagram of BOARDROOM is BROADMOOR? The CHAIRMAN is usually A RICH MAN. However, even he may find BOREDOM in the BEDROOM. Even I, if IN OIL REALM, may easily become a MILLIONAIRE.
The profession someone chooses is also influenced by these mysterious shape-shifting anagrams. A JOURNALIST is JUST NO LIAR, meaning they can skirt the edge of truth as long as they don’t tell porkies a such. The WITNESS is interviewed as he/she can show IT’S NEWS. A POSTMAN rejects a letter that has NO STAMP, and a THERAPIST often TREATS HIP. A MASSEUR (USE ARMS) can continue to rub in the deep muscles the therapist may not be able to get to. A good FORESTER is generally FOR TREES. And even in this day and age a HEADMISTRESS may be heard to remark “AH, I’M STRESSED.” While somewhere an equally stressed movie director RECASTS a difficult ACTRESS.
An ARCHAELOGIST says “I GO SEARCH A LOT” so he can get extra funding for expeditions. ARTISTS that are not selling their work may be in dire STRAITS while a SCULPTOR can be seen to CURL TOPS of marble blocks so as to make something vaguely redolent of whatever it‘s meant to represent.
The GOURMET usually has MORE GUT so can write with plenty of gusto, as well as a measure of guts when reviewing a recently visited restaurant, where BREAKFAST may well be served by FAT BAKERS.
A person with ANXIETY may wonder if there’s ANY EXIT, and being WORRIED, may unwittingly be looking for a DIRE ROW with someone. And we know there IS NO AMITY in ANIMOSITY. APARTHEID was A DIRE PATH to follow. But then PARLIAMENT is often filled with PARTIAL MEN who MESS ABLY in the house of ASSEMBLY. Where a QUESTION may appear IN QUOTES.
The DISCONSOLATE expression on a sprinter’s face may indicate I LOST A SECOND, thus being unable to win the dash for the tape.
A DIRECTORY can certainly be used for CITY ORDER from a-z.
A HAIRSPRAY may be AIRY + SHARP which is just the ticket for the lady with a 25 hour day ahead of her.
In the far-off days I can imagine a cave-dwelling forebear encountering an ELEPHANT for the first time and yelling “HELP! A NET!”
These anagrams are found every which way you turn, even in the Bible, where DEUTERONOMY indicated ONE MORE DUTY for the unfortunate Israelites, and many an OX was USED for many a bloody ritual in EXODUS. Moving to the New Testament REVELATION describes a VIOLENT ERA.
Anyway, before this becomes an entire book in its own right, let me conclude the whole scenario by inviting you to look at words afresh and with an open, enquiring mind. They may surprise you!