The Book of Lists was published in 1977. It was coauthored by Irving Wallace
(1916-1990), his son David Wallechinsky, and his daughter Amy Wallace
. David Wallechinsky was originally born David Wallace but he changed his name back to its original European incarnation.
The premise of the book was devilishly simple. People, by nature, are list makers. Some more extreme than others. And everyone enjoys a top 10
or top 40
type list. While its trivial
to look up the top 100 albums of all time, where do you go to find out the 10 worst presidents of the United States or 8 most hated historical figures or 10 historical figures who died during sex or the 10 best cases to support UFO
s or the 13 Longest Words in the English
or 8 incredible lipogram
? The Book of Lists
took on the rank ordering of all these mundane and slightly titillating topics.
The book spawned three sequels: The Book of Lists 2
(1978), The Book of Lists 3
(1978), The Book of Lists 1990s Edition
(1995). It also spawned a number of imitators by other authors including The SF Book of Lists
(1982, Malcolm Edwards
& Maxim Jakubowski
, which included the totally granular list "Ten Characters Who Have Promoted the Consumption of Coffee in Improbable Quarters of Space and Time", a great used bookstore find if there ever was one), The First Original Unexpurgated Authentic Canadian Book of Lists
(1978), The Book of Sports Lists
(1979), Meredith's Book of Bible Lists
(1980), and The Disinformation Book of Lists
The word occurs in Shakespeare's play Love's Labor Lost
, and means "with honrableness." It can also be viewed as a rearrangement of the Latin sentence "Hi ludi F. Baconis nati tuiti orbi," meaning: "These plays, F. Bacon's offspring are preserved for the world." This twis has been used to support the "Baconian theory" that Francis Bacon
wrote Shakespeare's plays. however, in The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined
(Cambridge, England: Cambridge university Press, 1957), William F. and Elizebeth S. Friedman have similar anagrams that "prove" Theodore Roosevelt
, Lewis Carroll
, and Gertrude Stein
also wrote Shakespeare.
The word means, according to Funk & Wagnalls
New Standard Dictionary of the English Language, "a doctrine of opposition to disestablishment
(withdrawal of state patronage, support, or exclusive recognition from a church)." It is said to have been used once by British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
This is found in the Oxford English Dictionary
, and means "the action or habit of estimating something as worthless."
From the movie 'Mary Poppins.' It means good.
Used by Mark McShane in his novel 'Untimely Ripped' (1963). It means the act of surpassing the act of transubstantiation
, which refers specifically to the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ during the Roman Catholic
Found in Gould's medical Dictionary. It is defined as "the surgical formation of a passage between the gall bladder
and the hepatic duct
, on the one hand, and between the intestine and the gall bladder, on the other."
Found in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 8th ed. It is "a pneumoconiosis
caused by the inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust." It occurs especially in miners.
of the Coprofied. This is a title of a book on the shelf in a library in the classic ribald work 'Gargantua and Pantagruel,' by Francois Rabelais.
A term that describes the structure of the human body; it occurs in 'Headlong Hall' (1816), a novel by Thomas Love Peacock
Describes the composition of the spa waters at Bristol
, in Gloucestershire
, England. The word was coined by an English medical writer, Dr. Edward Strother (1657-1737).
This word is on the first page of 'Finnegans Wake
' by James Joyce
, and is a symbolic thunderclap representing the fall of Adam and Eve
. (other 100-letter words appear throughout the book.)
The English transliteration of a Greek word that occurs in Aristophanes
' play 'The Ecclesiazusae.' The word is defined as "a goulash
composed of all the leftovers from the meals of the last two weeks," or "hash." A more detailed translation is "plattero-filleto-mulleti-turboto-cranio-morsele-pickelo-acido-silphio-honeyo-poured on the top of the ouzelo-throstleo-cushato-culvero-cutleto-roastingo-marrowo-dippero-leverto-syrupo-gibleto-wings."
1. (3,600 letters):
A chemical name describing bovine NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenises, which contains 500 amino acids.
SOURCE: The Book of Lists by Wallechinsky, Wallace, and Wallace, 1977.
1. Jacques Arago - an A-less book
The French author's book Voyage Autour du Monde Sans La Lettre A debuted in 1853. However, 30 years later he admitted letting one letter A sneak by him in the book - he had overlooked the word serait
2. Gyles Brandreth - Hamlet without any I's
A contemporary British lipogrammarian, Brandreth specializes in dropping a different letter from each of Shakespeare
's plays. All Is were omitted from hamlet, rendering the famous soliloquy "To be or not to be: that's the query. He proceeded to rewrite Twelfth Night
without the letters L and O, Othello
without any Os and Macbeth
without any As or Es.
3. Gottlob Burmann - R-less poetry (1737-1805)
Bearing an obsessive dislike for the letter R, Burmann not only wrote 130 poems without using that letter, but he also omitted the letter R from his daily conversation for 17 years. This practice meant the eccentric 18th-century German poet never said his own name.
4. A. Ross Eckler - Lipogram nursery rhymes
Eckler's specialty is rewriting well-known nursery rhymes such as "Little Jack Horner" excluding certain letters. His masterpiece was "Mary had a little lamb
", which he recreated in several versions omitting in turn the letters S, A, H, E and T (as in the T-less "Mary had a pygmy lamb").
5. Peter De Riga - a lipogram bible
Summarizing the entire bible
, the 16th century canon of Rheims Cathedral in France
omitted a different letter of the alphabet from each of the 23 chapters he produced.
6. Tryphiodorus - a lipogram odyssey
The greek poet Tryphiodorus
wrote his epic poem Odyssey
, chronicling the adventures of Ulysses
, excluding a different letter of the alphabet from each of the 24 books. Thus, the first book was written without alpha
, the second without beta
, and so on.
7. Lope De Vega Carpio - 5 novels without vowels (1562-1635)
Also known as Spain's first great dramatist, who reputedly wrote 2200 plays, this 16th century author wrote 5 novels that were lipograms. Each book omitted one of the five vowels A, E, I, O and U, in turn.
8. Ernest Vincent Wright
- Novel without an E (1939)
Tying down the E on his typewriter to make sure one didn't slip in, Wright, a graduate of MIT
, wrote a credible 50110-word novel, Gadsby
, totally excluding the most frequently used letter in the English language. Wright, a 67 year old Californian, undertook his E-less novel to prove such a feat could be done. He wrote the book in 165 days. He employed no tricks, such as coining words or substituting apostrophes for Es. His greatest difficulty, he stated, was in avoiding the use of verbs ending with ED, being forced to use SAID for REPLIED or ASKED. and in avoiding all pronouns such as HE, SHE or THEY. Wright died on the day of his book's publication - but the $3.00 novel remains his monument...
SOURCE: The Book of Lists 3 by Wallechinsky, Wallace, and Wallace, 1978.