Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or

In the newspaper business, the written word is, well, everywhere. Here is a look at some mostly useless, but interesting, tidbits about word-related items.


* It's better to be safe than sorry ... Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

* Don't judge a book by its cover ... Clothes make the man.

* Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today ... Don't cross that bridge until you come to it.

* Absence makes the heart grow fonder ... Out of sight, out of mind.

* You are never too old to learn ... You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

* Two heads are better than one ... Paddle your own canoe.

* Many hands make light work ... Too many cooks spoil the broth.

* Haste makes waste ... Time waits for no man.


* The two longest words that can be typed using only the left hand are stewardesses and reverberated.

* Lollipop is the longest word that can be typed using only the right hand.

* Skepticisms is the longest word that can be typed using alternate hands.

* The average person's left hand does 56 percent of the typing.

* Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters on a single row of the keyboard.

* The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.


* The letters H, I, O, and X are the only letters that look the same when flipped upside down or viewed from behind.

* The word "deeded" is made up of only two letters, each used three times.

* Three consecutive double letters can be found only in the words "bookkeeping" and "bookkeeper."

* When pelling out every number from 0 to 999, every vowel is used except for "a." It is necessary to go all the way to one thousand to find that particular vowel.

* "Queuing" is the only word with five consecutive vowels.

* The only word that uses each vowel only once and in reverse order is "subcontinental."

* There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which occurs five times: "indivisibility."

* "Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."


* "Widow" is the only female form in the English language that is shorter than its corresponding male term (widower).

* There is a seven-letter word in the English language that contains 10 words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

* The shortest word in the English language with all its letters in alphabetical order is the word "almost."

* Some Biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient Bible) did not contain an easy way to say "many things" and used a term which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the Bible -- in many places -- refers to "40 days," they meant "many days."

* No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

* "Four" is the only number whose number of letters in the name equals the number.

* Of all the words in the English language, the word "set" has the most definitions!

Oxymorons are figures of speech which produce seemingly self-contradictory effects. Eamaples include:

* good grief * pretty ugly

* virtual reality * same difference

* freezer burn * even odds

* student teacher * minor crisis

* clearly confused * now then

* near miss * genuine imitation

Palindromes are words or phrases which read the same in both directions. Some simple examples are:

* nun * madam

* eye * deed

* level * civic

* racecar * radar


* Good blood, bad blood.

* Ed had edited it.

* Six short slow shepherds

* Are our oars oak?

* Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.


1. What do the following words have in common?


2. What are the next four letters in this series.

Y Y H L Y E Y T ..

3. Rearrange these letters to give four different 6-letter words:


4. Here is a quotation with all the spaces and vowels removed. What is the quotation?


5. Rearrange these letters to give the title of a Clint Eastwood movie:



Folks in the South seem to just have a way with words. To those of us fortunate enough to have been raised in this part of the country, southern sayin's make perfect sense. Here are a few favorites.

* He's two bricks short of a load.

* Tell the truth and shame the devil.

* Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first.

* She's about as useful as buttons on a dishrag.

* He's tougher than a two dollar steak.

* He'd steal the bridle off a nightmare.

* Either fish or cut bait.

* Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.

* Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.

* Just hold your beans 'til your taters cool.


Newspaper headlines sometimes imply more than the writer intends...Here are some examples.

* Stolen painting found by tree

* Dealers will hear car talk at noon

* Red tape holds up new bridge

* Hospitals are sued by 7 foot doctors

* Miners refuse to work after death

Answers to "Just for Fun": 1. The first letter of each can be changed to form a color word (yellow, black, blue, brown, gold) 2. R R R (the last letters of the remaining htree months of the year) 3. bluest, bustle, sublet, subtle 4. To err is human, to forgive divine (Alexander Pope) 5. "High Plains Drifter"