Borgesian vocabulary

I dreamt that someone told me a word for reading all over the page, rather than left-right top-bottom. There was a specific term for it. But instead of giving me the word she gave me an anagram of the word. Other permutations of the word included “reality” and “circles of birds.” Since I had never heard of such a word before, I could not figure out the original from which she had derived the anagram.


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4 Responses to Borgesian vocabulary

  1. Simon says:

    I don’t know that one, but I do know “boustrophedonic” — which describes reading by going left to right, getting to the end of the line and then reading the next line right to left.

    Comes from the Greek for something along the lines of “how oxen plough your field.”

    I suggest “altairphedonic” for your dream.

  2. Steven Fama says:

    ha-ha, that’s good: in your dream the word for how you spread words all over the page is given to you in the same scrambled (anagram-matic) way you give us readers some of your poem’s words.

    That’s sort of getting hoisted on your own petard! But only sort of, because I don’t like the violent connotations of that term.

    Circle of birds is interesting. It reminds me of the eyes as hummingbirds flitting about the nectar and color of the words on the page, as somebody once put it.

  3. Jessica Smith says:

    whoa, simon! 🙂

  4. Steven Fama says:

    Boustrophedonic is an incredible word, I must say. But I don’t “get” “altairphedonic.” Help?

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