William Tunstall-Pedoe

 William Tunstall-Pedoe

 William Tunstall-Pedoe

Redividers (and unfortunate domain names)

Anagrams are the art of rearranging the letters of one piece of text to find something else.

However, a certain class of anagram involves no rearranging at all! The letters in the anagram are in exactly the same sequence as they appear in the subject: the only thing that has changed is where the spaces are!

Two great examples are transforming “Psychotherapist” into “Psycho the Rapist” and turning the US tax collection authority “the IRS” into “Theirs!”

The only term I’m aware for this type of trivial anagram is a “redivider” (which has the additional curiosity of being a palindrome).

I’ve known about these for years but a recent post on the ‘Technknowledgy’ Blog has made me realise that redividers can be a serious issue when it comes to selecting domain names.

There used to be some debate about whether a multi-word domain name should have the words separated out with hyphens (www.anagram-genius.com) or have the words run together (www.anagramgenius.com).

In recent years the fashion has strongly swung in favour of the latter but the post reveals some hilarious examples of where this can lead to very unfortunate ambiguity. The examples listed in the post are:


(Pen Island, Speed of Art, Therapist Finder, Mole Station Nursery and Go Tahoe)

The post also lists the highly embarrassing website of First United Methodist Church of Cumming, Georgia which has the domain www.cummingfirst.com but even hyphens wouldn’t save this one…