August 5, 2009
The Name is Shrdlu... Etaoin Shrdlu
It was Howard Weaver who introduced me to the phrase ETAOIN SHRDLU—the most frequently-used letters in English, in order, as lined up on old typesetting machines. World Wide Words adds a dimension: a list of appearances the phrase has made in literature, including this…
[…] a once-famous play, The Adding Machine, in which Etaoin Shrdlu was a character.
…to which I say: YES, of course Etaoin Shrdlu is, must be, a character. Possibly Celtic/Croatian. Possibly a poet. Possibly a spy. Possibly a poet/spy.
Somebody write a story starring media man of mystery Etaoin Shrdlu right now.
(Via my favorite new twitterer, @thatwhichmatter.)