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Where “I” Resides September 20, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Poetry, Word Play.

IMGP3740aStartling as it might seem, I’m

starting to see strange patterns

staring me in the face.  A

string of confusion with a

sting all its own.  We

sing out, abandon

sin, and go with

in.  Where

I resides.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Inspiration:  One Word Riddle (e-mail from Granny1947)

The e-mail Granny sent me claimed that “STARTLING” was the only 9-letter word in the English language that could be transformed by removing one letter at a time . . . with each intervening word being a word in the English language:

Startling -> Starting -> Staring -> String -> Sting -> Sing -> Sin -> In -> I

Can you come up with a different 9-letter word (or an even longer word) that works the same way?


1. TheGreatPlainsPoet - September 20, 2013

Neat way to structure this poem.
Good job.

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Thanks, TGPP. I love how the English language fits together in such odd patterns. I’m interested to see if anyone will I.D. a similar pattern in a longer word.

2. Don - September 20, 2013

Now that’s absolutely startling.

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

A real eye opener! 😯

3. Tammy - September 20, 2013


nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Playing with words is ever appealing. I’m wondering if someone will come up with a longer stair step than starting with startling. 😉

4. Cubby - September 20, 2013

Love this! Excellent poem to showcase this “startling” revelation. 🙂

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Thanks, Cubby. A reverse staircase seemed just the thing.

5. Grannymar - September 20, 2013

Time for my walk. Will have a think when I return, in the meantime I need to watch where I put my feet! 😉

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Please do, Granny! No more nose dives or tumbles for you.

6. theonlycin - September 20, 2013

I’m reading a book that makes me think of you all the time. Try to get hold of it: ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’ by David Michie.

nrhatch - September 20, 2013
7. ericjbaker - September 20, 2013

It’s like a Russian nesting word.

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Yes! That’s the perfect eggs-ample.

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

I’ve gotten 6 nesting words on my own:

A -> AN -> PAN -> PAIN (or SPAN) -> SPAIN -> SPRAIN

Now I’m aiming for 7.

8. Three Well Beings - September 20, 2013

You did such a clever deconstruct of the word, Nancy! I don’t think I’ve ever even thought about any word in quite this way. Now I’ll probably see patterns of my own! If I do, I’ll share!

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Yes!!! Please share. I am finding it FUN to build stair words of my own, even if I’m shy of nine.

9. Weekly Photo Challenge: A Fair Attempt and Losing Letters Really Awfully | Colonialist's Blog - September 20, 2013

[…] email from Granny 1947 giving a startling weight loss I can enjoy, posted here, inspired my fair attempt – ? – to remodel it as a Really Awful […]

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

A fair attempt, indeed! 😛

10. colonialist - September 20, 2013

This is rather fun. I don’t know of another example, but have turned this one into a Really Awful Rhyme.

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

I’ll be round straight away . . . your really awful rhymes are usually awful fun. 😀

11. Andra Watkins - September 20, 2013

I wish I could, Nancy. I am trying to say hi to everyone before running out for an overnight Girls’ Night……………my brain pickled a little just typing that……….

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Have FUN at your Girls’ Night overnight . . . remember that alcohol pickles AND dehydrates! :mrgreen:

12. SidevieW - September 20, 2013

what fun, well done on that one

nrhatch - September 20, 2013

Thanks, Sidey. Col had some fun with Granny’s e-mail as well.

13. sufilight - September 21, 2013

This was very well done, and the photo fits in perfectly. 😀

nrhatch - September 21, 2013

Thanks, Marie. As poems go, this one has more than a few rough edges, but it serves its purpose. Snooty, in his tourist finery, brings the stair steps to life.

14. jannatwrites - September 21, 2013

Fun poem! I’d like to know who figures this stuff out with words. I wouldn’t have thought to do that, or check to see if it was the only 9-letter word you could that with.

nrhatch - September 21, 2013

I expect it’s an independently wealthy single person with no kids who takes on these tasks. Who else would have the time to thumb through dictionaries? :mrgreen:

Oh, wait . . . maybe there’s an app for that?!

15. kateshrewsday - September 21, 2013

Very clever, and pithy too. I love it.

nrhatch - September 21, 2013

Thanks, Kate. It’s FUN to write things outside the standard SLTW fare. Here’s to a muse in e-mails.

16. shreejacob - September 23, 2013

That really is very clever!!!!
Love the comment about it looking like a Russian nesting word thingy too 🙂

nrhatch - September 23, 2013

Thanks, Shree. Eric’s observation about Russian nesting words is spot on. Since writing this post, I still haven’t found the time to page through the dictionary, word by word, to find a 10-letter word that is as easily manipulable. 😉

17. bluebee - September 24, 2013

haha – well done, Nancy. I’m going to resist the temptation to try 🙂

nrhatch - September 24, 2013

Here’s to plucking just the right word when we need it! 😀

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