Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(46) Countdown orgasms

On the afternoon of September 25th 1989 I was watching the TV show Countdown.

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/C/countdown/index.html

Two contestants were trying to come up with the longest word that they could compose out of a random selection of nine letters.

I had once read an interview with Carol Vorderman, the woman who displayed the selected letters on the show, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Vorderman and she had said that in her opinion there ought to be no bowdlerising and if an obscene or embarrassing word were to crop up then it should be permitted and broadcast.
It occurred to me how funny it would be if the longest word that they could permute were "orgasms"!

I watched the show again the following afternoon.

A letter selection of S P M A O G S I R came up.
The two women contestants each said that the longest word that they could think of was ‘Sprigs’, but the resident lexicographer disallowed it since she was unable to find it in her dictionaries.

But the guest commentator, Dinah Sheridan, pointed out what I had already noted: they could have had the legitimate seven letter word ‘Orgasms’.

The show was pre-recorded.

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