2001-03-10

autological

This one is for you, Ryan.

Self-descriptive. Heterological is its opposite.

The web page at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~burkardt/puzzles/cabbage_puzzle.html creates a puzzle (the "Cabbage Puzzle") around this idea. Pages 20-21 of Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter (20th anniversary Edition ISBN: 0-465-02656-7) discuss the same topic, calling it "Grelling's paradox", a variant of Russell's paradox.

Here are some examples of autological words: fifteen-lettered, pentasyllabic, sesquipedalian and recherché.

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