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The New York Times

Monkeying Around With Company Names

by Eric Shackle

The letters that form the name Boeing can be rearranged to spell "big one." Time Warner can be converted to "mean writer." And the title of Rupert Murdoch's sexy London tabloid The News of the World is an anagram for "tender, hot flesh -- wow."

These are just a few of the possibilities in business anagrams, a game being played by office workers throughout the English-speaking world.

To play, contact the Internet Anagram Server at wordsmith.org/anagram, which provides immediate answers, or another site called Anagram Genius Server at www.anagramgenius.com/server.html, which gives a more considered response and replies by e-mail after a few minutes or hours, depending on traffic volume.

At no charge, these sites will attempt to create anagrams from any word or phrase, not just company names. But somehow there's a special mischievous thrill to plugging in your employer's name and learning, for example, that New York Times can be reconfigured as "monkeys write."

"Anagrams never lie," insists Anu Garg (his real name, not an anagram). He and his wife, Stuti, have just founded a Web service, called Namix that uses anagrams and other techniques to help companies come up with names and trademarks. Namix which also links to the Internet Anagram Server, offers an archive of its "Business Anagram of the Day."

In his day job, Garg is a computer specialist in Columbus, Ohio, with AT&T Laboratories -- whose letters also happen to spell "a sailboat retort."

Copyright © 1999 The New York Times
(Source URL: http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/08/biztech/articles/30data.html)
August 30, 1999

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