Thursday, September 10, 2015

Politics, Second Homes, Hemp, and Vowels

First, check out my new post at in which I talk about canvasing and canvassing. It's called "Canvas(s)ing: A Story of Politics, Second Homes, and Hemp."

Here's a hint that isn't covered in that article. If you're faced with using canvas or canvass, remember this: "Politics puts the ass in canvass."

Granted, canvassing isn't restricted to political action groups or campaign volunteers — police, nonprofit groups, and others can get involved in canvassing — but every little bit helps, right?

Second, I hope some of you can help me with a bit of trivia. It's been said that strengths is the longest English word that contains only one vowel, and I've never seen anything to refute that claim. But what is the longest English word — and I'm going to restrict this to doubly common English words — that contains only one consonant.

By doubly common, I mean a word that both is commonly known and is not a proper name. I make this restriction because, if you do any research, you'll uncover words like eunoia (goodwill), Ouenouaou (a stream in the Philippines), and hooiaioia (the Hawaiian word for "certified," apparently), which aren't as common to people's vocabularies as strengths.

I would assume that such a word would max out at about seven letters, since four-letter vowel combinations aren't very common.

I'll get it started: Can you think of a common, single-consonant word longer than queue?