Definition - A piece of writing in which the writer avoids using any words that contain a certain letter or letters.
Note: As opposed to a univocalic in which the writer avoids all vowels except one.

An Oulipo Exercise

In the following lipogram the letters a, i, o and u are prohibited. The author calls it "an Oulipo exercise."

Example -
The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown duck.
(Test: Try to figure out which letter is missing in the above lipogram.)

Etymology -
The word was coined as a back-formation of the Greek lipogrammatos, missing a letter (from the Greek leipein, be wanting + graphos, writing).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1711:
"Anagrams, Chronograms, Lipograms and Acrosticks."
(Addison Spect. No. 62, 33)


1. Mark Dunn has written a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary (an epistolary is a story written using epistles/correspondence). The novel is titled "Ella Minnow Pea". Every chapter drops the use of one more letter of the alphabet, until only LMNOP are left. A fascinating read.
(Dianne Hill, South Australia)

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