The Edge Effect

Monday, April 23, 2007


You are probably aware that the word facetious includes all five vowels, each only once, and in alphabetical order. Some time ago I read or heard someone ask what other English word does this, and apparently facetiously doesn't count even though it also has 'y.'

Anyway, I never heard the answer to that question and it still bugs me from time to time. But this week the word of the day e-mail list that I belong to is doing this as a theme. All week! So there are at least five English words that fit these criteria, who knew?

This probably shouldn't excite me so much, but I feel like light has been thrown onto a long-time mystery. I'll share the other words later in the week.

abstemious (ab-STEE-mee-uhs) adjective

Sparing, especially in matters of eating and drinking.

[From Latin abstemius, from ab- (from) + temetum (liquor).]