The Ecphorizer

Editor's Notes iss 15
George Towner

Issue #15 (November 1982)

The Affair of the Al-For-Bet started in our August issue with a contribution from Claire Taylor - a recondite mnemonic alphabet (F or vessance, etc). Unknown to your humble Editor, Claire had learned it years ago from a British gentleman. She had dredged it up from memory with additions by Charles Schultz and Dave Kirby. Never one to sleep at the switch, magaziner Paul W. Healy set us right in the September issue, quoting an article from 1947 that traced the Al-for-Bet to the Royal Navy. We culpa-ed in an Editor's Note, but added that we felt Claire's "X for izer" was an improvement on "X for breakfast."

Well! Never trifle with Royal Navy, 'swot we learned (Argentina, please copy). In true Mensa fashion, a printed questionnaire popped up at Ed Van Vleck's Silicon Valley SIG meeting September 10th. It asked for votes on those letters where the inventions of Claire, Charles and Dave differed from the canon originally fired off by the RN. 18 ballots were cast. The Lads in Blue came out on top in 4 letters (G, K, M, W), while our own wordsmiths won in 9 cases (C, D, E, I, N, 0, R, V and Z). P, U, and X were tied. The only Mensa contribution nobody liked was "W for two rams"; is this the beginning of the New Morality? "X for izer," which started it all, tied with "X for breakfast." One voter wrote across the ballot "Don't like any of them -- suggest you for-g-et the hole thing." This seems like good advice, which we shall now follow. 

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