A lipogram (from Greek lipagrammatos, “missing letter”) is a kind of constrained writing or word game consisting of writing paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is omitted — usually a common vowel, the most common in English being “E”.  For example, a version of this paragraph without any “E” could be:

A lipogram (from Attic lipagrammatos, “missing symbol”) is a kind of writing within constraints or wordplay consisting of writing paragraphs or books in which a particular symbol or group of symbols is missing — usually a common non-consonant, most commonly (in a SouthBritish lingo familiar to Milton) that symbol which is fifth in standard lists of Latin’s script glyphs. For illustration, a variant of this paragraph without that symbol could say:

Writing a lipogram is a trivial task for uncommon letters like “Z”, “J”, or “X”, but it is much more difficult for common letters like “E”, “T” or “A”. Writing this way, the author must omit many ordinary words. Grammatically correct and smooth-flowing lipograms are fairly rare and difficult to write.

A pangrammatic lipogram or lipogrammatic pangram is a text that uses every letter of the alphabet except one, e.g. “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”, which omits “S.”


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