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Puzzle #2: Vowels And Consonants

Have you ever stopped to think about the structure of words, the combinations of vowels and consonants that make up these odd things that we call "words"? Some words have more consonants than vowels, others have more vowels than consonants. Some words have two or more vowels in a row, while others have multiple consonants in a row. Here are some interesting statistics:

If you're looking at just six letter words, the most common word structure is CVCCVC (a consonant, followed by a vowel, followed by two consonants, a vowel, and ending with another consonant). In fact, slightly over a quarter of all six letter words are of this format!

Here's an interesting word: cadeau. It's a French word which means "gift". It's interesting because I couldn't find any English words in the form 'CVCVVV'. Not that cadeau has anything to do with this puzzle...you can think of that as a "freebie"...a gift.

Then there's ectype, cygnet, cystic and outcry, four words which have four consonants in a row. But that's not really fair, because the letter Y is really taking on the job of a vowel in those words.

The second most common structure for six letter words is 'CVCVCC', which makes up about 11% of all six letter words. In third place is 'CVCVCV', a very nice, evenly spaced word structure.

Which reminds me. Your clue for this page is:

CVCVCV.

And no, I'm not going to tell you anything else. So don't even bother asking me to email you the answer to this one. Besides, the site's Privacy Policy doesn't say anything about using your email address to send you answers.



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