One of the joys finding a book behind a book is coming across some gems that you’d parked and sort of forgotten.

One book I stumbled across the other day was The Guinness Book Of Word Games recently by David Parlett, a a practical and entertaining gem stuffed with spoken, written and boxed word games.

Alphabet is one activity that I used to play in class and this involves concocting an intelligible sentence, paragraph or short story, consisting of 26 words beginning with successive letters of the alphabet.

David Parlett and his brother gives us a few examples:

  • As belligerent conductors deftly exercised finger groups, horn-players joined knees lovingly – meanwhile, neophyte oboists played Rachmaninov, seeming to undergo variations where xylophonists yielded zigzags.
  • A brilliant cockney doctor emerged from gynaecology, having incautiously just knocked long-suffering matron’s neurologist out – protesting (quite rightly so) that untrained veterinarians wouldn’t X-rayed your zygoma.
  • As birds can dive even from great heights, I just know larks must nest on pinnacles, quietly recollecting shattered thoughts, until violent winds xenomorphosize you zones.

What do you think? How did they do?

Well, they aren’t easy to write (that’s the challenge) and I think there are better examples ‘out there’. Here are some more:

A beautiful creature develops extravagant forms, growing huge individual jawbones; killing, luring many nocturnal owls; preying quietly, resting silently till universal victory within xerothermic yucky zones.

Bradley Hendricks

A baby craves downy eagle feathers gathered haphazardly inside jumbo knapsacks, lovingly made ‘neath ornate pillows, quilted regardless seams, teeming under verdant woods’ xylem’s yellowed zest.

Anyone’s body can die; except for Gertrude’s. Her internal joy keeps life moving. Naively, one person questions: “Really, she’s that unbeatable?” Verifying with x-rays yields zero.
Think you can do better? Have a go at writing your own alphabent and share.

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