Saturday Puzzle #1 – An Unusual Paragraph

If you manage to solve this puzzle, post your answer in a comment here, (or on facebook or twitter) and I’ll update the main article to congratulate the first correct responder. No googling allowed – you’ll get a lot more out of it if you work out the answer on your own.

How quickly can you find out what is unusual about this paragraph? It looks so ordinary that you would think that nothing was wrong with it at all and, in fact, nothing is. But it is unusual. Why? If you study it and think about it you may find out, but I am not going to assist you in any way. You must do it without coaching. No doubt, if you work at it, it will dawn on you. Who knows? Go to work and try your skill. Par is about half an hour. Good luck!

Question: What is unusual about the above paragraph?

SPOILER ALERT – Answer posted below.

Update: We have a winner…congratulations to Shirley Tobias, who correctly noted the paragraph above was written without using the letter ‘e’. This is noteworthy because ‘e’ is the most frequently used letter in English, with a 13% relative frequency (source). Try writing a few sentences without using any ‘e’s – you’ll sEE it’s not vEry Easy.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Puzzle #1 – An Unusual Paragraph”

  1. I noticed that there were no upside-down quotation mark thingees to end the quote. Perhaps they are not required?

  2. Hose B – very observant. That’s an artifact of WordPress formatting; it decorates block quotes with that oversized leading double quote symbol but it doesn’t include a matching end quote, which I agree is a little weird. I think the idea is that indenting and italicizing the text makes it stand out as a quotation and the giant open double quote symbol is a cosmetic thing.

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