ANAGRAMAPOCALYSE

About 12 years ago I was writing and posting about anagrams. Both I and the infamous Art Nuendorffer posted interpretations of OVR EVER-LIVING POET on Phaeton, HLAS, and elsewhere. Much of this is now vapor, but Art has cloned his posts so mercilessly that you can still find many of his epic cipher posts on the google groups archive. Search "Vero Nil Verius" in Google Groups.I prefer solutions that use "Vero Nihil Verius," which is the proper motto.

However, Gabriel Harvey used the phrase "Vero Nil Verius" in Gratulationes Valdinenses 1578 --- the same text that gives us "vultus tela vibrat" (Your look shakes spears). So one could say that the shorter motto does have a precedent, and it is legitimate Latin. Moreover, Elizabethan anagrams were much less strict. Modern anagramming demands exact one-to-one transpositions. I can show many examples of published 16th-century anagrams where there's more like 80% or 90% accuracy. Nevertheless, because our standards are higher for what's an anagram, even if we show something that's "close-enough" for Shakespeare's day, no one will accept now it as data or evidence. Further, as Detobel warns, this whole cipher method is a quicksand. What one "discovers" is not necessarily what was actually put there on purpose.

But here's the clean facts.

In Sonnets 1609 the line is:

OVR.EVER-LIVING.POET

If we limit ourselves to

OVR.EVER-LIVIN

We can anagram:

VERO NIL VERIV

Which only lacks an "S."

In Elizabethan terms, that's close enough; to modern skeptical minds it's uncanny, but considered a commonplace coincidence.

If we use

OVR.EVER-LIVING.POET

We can anagram:

VERO NIL VERIV. Go Pet!

Which is not satisfying.

If we use

BY.OVR.EVER-LIVING.POET

We can anagram:

VERO NIL VERIV. (Beg Typo)

Which is clever, but unconvincing.

To get the "S" we need we have to add the next word, "WISHETH" --- which also gives us the "HI" needed to turn "NIL" into "NIHIL"

For:

OVR.EVER-LIVING.POET.WISHETH

We can anagram:

VERO NIHIL VERIVS WEPT - OH GET!

I like that one, but it's hardly proof of anything.

A similar anagram possibility has also been trumpeted by Nuendorffer, though I

have better iterations, I think.

Hamlet Act 4. Scene VII "Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke..."

 "ENVIOUS SLIVER" =

VERO NIL VESIUS

 "AN ENVIOUS SLIVER BROKE" =

VERO NIL VERIUS BAKES ON

 "HANG AN ENVIOUS SLIVER BROKE"

1. VERO NIL VERIUS - Non Shake Bag!

2. VERO NIL VERIUS - Bank Has Gone

3. VERO NIL VERIUS - Anon Keg Bash

4. VERO NIL VERIUS - Shaken A Bong

5. VERO NIL VERIUS - Ban Hanks Ego!

In 1) a clarification that Oxford is not "Shake Bag"

In 2) a description of Oxford's financial plight

In 3) Oxford's Anoymous small beer parties

In 4) Oxford's pot smoking has him shaking bongs and spears

In 5) Oxford's plea for sanity from a future hagiographer

Again, I find this all entertaining, but not proof of original intent, unfortunately.

Robert Sean Brazil

(Bizarre Noble Star)