I first saw a necklace of this kind at Accessorize and was instantly taken by its genius. It came (theoretically) with all 26 letters of the English alphabet, plus the ones that were already arranged on the chain to spell, ‘make your own’. Amusingly, my box was missing the letters B and S, and when I went back to the shop they were all out. The dearth of letters creates some compositional difficulty, and the Accessorize website is rife with reviews from customers complaining that they didn’t have enough letters to spell out their name. My diminutive name is no problem, but I think a name tag is an insipid use of an alphabet necklace, which can communicate far more interesting sentiments.
The full character set of my Accessorize necklace – a sturdy, dark-gold, sans BS, sans serif:
On a recent trip to Primark, I discovered some even nicer necklaces (at a fraction of the price of the Accessorize ones, needless to say) which have two chains, allowing the wearer to “typeset” two lines of text. An older style of these was discounted and at £1, I couldn’t resist. It’s in a more elaborate font, and the chains are a bit too close together (though this is easy enough to fix). The newer style is currently £3 and is in a much more pleasing serif font, with the chains at a better length. The Primark versions come with 28 letters – the O and Y are doubled. Not particularly helpful in English where an extra E would have made all the diffErEncE. The Accessorize version had the advantage of the extra A and E of ‘make’.
Since the Primark versions are so affordable, I would advise the fashionable author to invest in two or three letter necklaces. However, if you enjoy the orthographical challenge of a single character set, here are some writerly phrases I have come up with. Feel free to tweet me your own.
I LOVE WORDS
I AMB LE
STEAMPUNK (GIRL / BOY)
And a few words:
P.S. If you enjoy this sort of word play, I would heartily recommend that you read Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, in which the inhabitants of Nollop scramble to find a pangram before their society collapses.