Around here, we try to reuse sheets of paper that still have one good, blank side, which sometimes results in amusing or confusing combinations, as one wonders, "Is the back side of this page important?"  Or even, "Which is the operative side here?"  Yesterday I was browsing through my book of recipes—okay, my random collection of pages of all sizes and shapes stuck haphazardly in a notebook—when I came upon the recipe for "Nancy's Great Cookies."  On the back was a list of words, probably though not definitely in Heather's handwriting, which would make it quite an old list.  Although the words seemed random, I immediately realized that they were not.

Breathes there the man—or at least the American—with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land!:  at, all, and, ball, bit, bump, cold, could, did, do, day, it, I, in, house, him, how, jump, go, looked, like, little, mat, made, not, nothing, on, one, out, play, sally, saw, sat, said, so, something, shine, sit, sun, step, that, two, the, too, then, to, there, us, we, was, went, wet, with, wish.
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 10:13 am | Edit
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With a word like "nothing" she shouldn't have been given the three letter handicap!!!

Posted by Janet on Friday, April 17, 2009 at 2:23 am

A very appropriate reaction, and one I should have though of myself! But no, I'm sure it wasn't a Boggle game.

Posted by SursumCorda on Friday, April 17, 2009 at 7:21 am

Was that the order in which I wrote the words?

Posted by joyful on Friday, April 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

It's definitely my handwriting. However, I'm baffled.

Posted by joyful on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 7:38 am

Funny. Must just be the way my brain thinks. It jumped out at me, instantly, without any thought. I'll wait a little longer to see if anyone else has an idea before revealing the answer.

If you want, print it out and take it to church tomorrow; I'll be shocked if no one in that group can see the pattern. In fact, please try an experiment for me: Read the words out loud to Jonathan, and see if anything strikes him.

Or maybe I'm just crazy, like my friend whose memory is good but not remarkable in general, but who can tell you, for many if not all of her friends, their birth dates, wedding dates, and the dates of any other important event in their lives, such as the birth of a child or the death of a parent.

Posted by SursumCorda on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 8:31 am

How about all the words from a Dr. Suess book? It seems like Sally is one of the kids in The Cat in the Hat.

Posted by Jon Daley on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

If you have sally then why wouldn't you have cat?

Posted by dstb on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Ok. After Jon's clue, I know what it's all about. It's not really that old - I wrote it on the back of the recipe, not the other way around, I'm pretty sure. That recipe was found in the September 2005 issue of Sursum Corda News, paper edition. I was counting words in The Cat in the Hat, because I thought I remembered that Dr.Seuss wrote it with a list of only 50 common words. Once I got past 50, I stopped. Later I found that the list was 200 words. I believe I was wondering about making bits for Jonathan.

Posted by joyful on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Yes, that's it. Maybe it's just the way my brain works on puzzles, making wholes out of parts—I do that with musical fragments, too—but I've read that story so many times the list popped out The Cat in the Hat like one of those Magic Eye puzzles.

Sheep, lake, sky...

Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 6:21 am

A Fly Went By!

Posted by joyful on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 7:40 am


Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

But why isn't "cat" in the list? Isn't that integral to the story?

Posted by dstb on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

If you start from the beginning and count unique words, you exceed 50 before coming to "cat."

Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 10:21 am

I believe the 50-word limit was for Green Eggs and Ham, not Cat in the Hat. If the version I remember is correct, it was from a bet between Theodore Geisel and his publisher or editor.

Posted by Stephan on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 6:24 pm

More or less. You can see the original image here.

Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, May 05, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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