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The State Capitals revisited.

In my November 2001 Word Ways article, "Transposing the State Capitals", I explored the transposability of the names of the 50 state capitals. In that article, I offered transposals for 20 of the names of the state capitals, leaving readers to explore the remaining 30.

In this article, I look at both transdeletions and transadditions of the names of the state capitals. A transdeletion of a given word or name is where one or more letters are deleted, and the remaining letters transposed to generate another word or name--for example, ASSENTOR is a one-letter transdeletion of TRANSPOSE, and SENATOR is a two-letter transdeletion. A transaddition of a given word or name is where one or more letters are added, and the letters transposed to generate another word or name--for example, PATRONISES is a one-letter transaddition of transpose, and SENATORSHIP is a two-letter transaddition.

This article addresses two sets of questions:

1. What are the longest transdeletions of the 50 names of the state capitals? Is it possible to find one-letter transdeletions for all 50 of the state capital names? How close could I get to finding 50 one-letter transdeletions? Where one-letter transdeletions cannot be located, what are the fewest numbers of letters that need to be deleted to effect a transdeletion?

2. What are the shortest transadditions of the 50 names? Is it possible to find one-letter transadditions for all the 50 state capital names? How close could I get to finding 50 one-letter transadditions? Where one-letter transadditions cannot be located, what are the fewest numbers of letters that need to be added to effect a transaddition?

The table below shows my best efforts to date in locating transdeletions and shortest transadditions. In a few cases, where I feel the technically best transdeletions or transadditions offered are trivial (e.g., a one-letter transaddition of CONCORD is CONCORDS), I have offered less-trivial but technically inferior alternatives. All words are courtesy of Webster's Third New International, except where noted. All improvements from readers are welcome.

The two numbers at the foot of the table, 71 and 85, show the numbers of letters that have been deleted and added. The first figure, 71, is a measure of how closely I have approached a full set of 50 one-letter transdeletions. Note that there are no state capital names that cannot be transdeleted--there are examples for all 50 state capital names. Further effort needs to be expended to get the figure of 71 down to the ideal target of 50. The second figure, 85, is not so straightforward. As there are several state capital names for which I was unable to find any transadditions, it is not a question of simply reducing the 85 to 50. The gaps need to be filled in, which will increase the figure upwards!

Sources used and abbreviated in this table are OED (The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition), TCD (The Chambers Dictionary, 1998 edition), W2 (Webster's New International Dictionary, 2nd edition), and W10NCD (Webster's 10th New Collegiate Dictionary).
State Capital State Longest Number
 transdeletion of letters
 deleted

ALBANY New York BANAL 1
ANNAPOLIS Maryland SALOPIAN 1
ATLANTA Georgia ANATTA 1
AUGUSTA Maine AUGUST (note 1) 1
AUSTIN Texas SAINT 1
BATON ROUGE Louisiana OUTRANGE 2
BISMARCK North Dakota IMBARKS 1
BOISE Idaho BIOS 1
BOSTON Massachusetts BOOST 1
CARSON CITY Nevada NARCOTICS 1
CHARLESTON West Virginia CHLORATES 1
CHEYENNE Wyoming HENCE 3
COLUMBIA South Carolina ABOULIC (W2) 1
COLUMBUS Ohio OSCULUM 1
CONCORD New Hampshire CONDOR 1
DENVER Colorado NEVER 1
DES MOINES Iowa DEMONESS(TCD) 1
DOVER Delaware RODE 1
FRANKFORT Kentucky AFFRONT 2
HARRISBURG Pennsylvania AIRBRUSH 2
HARTFORD Connecticut FORRAD 2
HELENA Montana ANELE 1
HONOLULU Hawaii HULLOO 2
INDIANAPOLIS Indiana DIAPASON (note 3) 4
JACKSON Mississippi JACKOS 1
JEFFERSON CITY Missouri REJECTIONS 3
JUNEAU Alaska JAUNE (W2) 1
LANSING Michigan SIGNAL 1
LINCOLN Nebraska COLLIN (W2) 1
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas TRICKLET 2
MADISON Wisconsin DAMSON 1
MONTGOMERY Alabama MOTORMEN 2
MONTPELIER Vermont INTERLOPE 1
NASHVILLE Tennessee INHALES 2
OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma HOMOLYTIC 3
OLYMPIA Washington MYOPIA 1
PHOENIX Arizona PHENIX (W2) 1
 (note 5)
PIERRE South Dakota RIPER 1
PROVIDENCE Rhode Island DIVORCEE 2
RALEIGH North Carolina HAILER 1
RICHMOND Virginia CHONDRI 1
SACRAMENTO California STRAMACON 1
 (TCD)
SALEM Oregon SEAL 1
SALT LAKE CITY Utah STATICALLY 2
SANTA FE New Mexico FASTEN 1
SPRINGFIELD Illinois PILFERINGS (W2) 1
ST PAUL Minnesota SPLAT 1
TALLAHASSEE Florida SEASHELL 3
TOPEKA Kansas ATOKE 1
TRENTON New Jersey ROTTEN 1

 71

State Capital Shortest transaddition Number
 of letters
 added

ALBANY BANALLY 1
ANNAPOLIS NONSPATIAL, 1
 PLANATIONS
ATLANTA TARLATAN 1
AUGUSTA TAUTAUGS (W2) 1
AUSTIN TSUNAMI 1
BATON ROUGE ANTIBOURGEOIS (W2) 3
BISMARCK BRICKMASON 2
BOISE BODIES 1
BOSTON BONITOS 1
CARSON CITY PANTISOCRACY 2
CHARLESTON CHLORINATES 1
CHEYENNE MYELENCEPHALON 6
COLUMBIA COLUMBARIA 2
COLUMBUS SUBMUCOSAL 2
CONCORD CONCORDS(note 2) 1
DENVER RAVENED 1
DES MOINES DEMERSIONS(TCD), 1
 MODERNISES (TCD),
 SERMONISED (TCD)
DOVER OVERDO 1
FRANKFORT ?
HARRISBURG ?
HARTFORD FORTHWARD 1
HELENA LETHEAN 1
HONOLULU ?
INDIANAPOLIS ?
JACKSON JANNOCKS 1
JEFFERSON CITY ?
JUNEAU UNJEALOUS (TCD) 3
LANSING SLANTING 1
LINCOLN NONLEXICAL 3
LITTLE ROCK ROCKET- 9
 INSTALLATIONS (OED
 - note 4)
MADISON DIAMONDS 1
MONTGOMERY HEMOGLOBINOMETRY 6
MONTPELIER IMPLEMENTOR 1
NASHVILLE SLAVEHOLDING 3
OKLAHOMA CITY ?
OLYMPIA PALIMONY (W10NCD) 1
PHOENIX XENOPHIL (W2) 1

PIERRE PREMIER 1
PROVIDENCE PINE-COVERED(OED- 1
 note 6)
RALEIGH LITHARGE 1
RICHMOND MONORCHID 1
SACRAMENTO MACERATIONS 1
SALEM SAMPLE 1
SALT LAKE CITY ?
SANTA FE FANTASIE 1
SPRINGFIELD FIELDSTRIPPING 3
 (W10NCD)
ST PAUL SPATULA 1
TALLAHASSEE THALASSOCHELYS 10
 CARETTA (OED - note 7)
TOPEKA OUTSPEAK 2
TRENTON UNROTTEN 1

 85

Note 1: AUGUST as a one-letter transdeletion is trivial; a
better-mixed two-letter transdeletion is AGAST (TCD).

Note 2 CONCORDS as a one-letter transaddition is trivial; a
better-mixed two-letter transaddition is ACCORDION.

Note 3: DIAPASON is a four-letter transdeletion; there is a
technically better three-letter transdeletion, ANNAPOLIS, but this
could be considered partially trivial because of the commonality of
the -POLIS element.

Note 4: ROCKET-INSTALLATIONS appears in a quote under ROCKET in
the OED.

Note 5: PHENIX as a one-letter transdeletion is trivial; a
better-mixed two-letter transdeletion is PHONE.

Note 6: PINE-COVERED is listed under PINE in the OED.

Note 7: THALASSOCHELYS CARETTA is a scientific name for the
loggerhead turtle, shown at LOGGERHEAD in the OED.
DARRYL FRANCIS
Sutton, Surrey, England
darrylfrancis@tahoo.co.uk
COPYRIGHT 2002 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Francis, Darryl
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:1047
Previous Article:Permutations of United States capitals.
Next Article:The Oz contradictionary: part 4.
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