finding pants in unexpected places

From the pantheons of pants I bring to you the the ultimate excercise in pants procrastination¹. Upon my recent realization that the word procrastination contains the letters of the word pants, my mind has suffered an onslaught of other words which contain pants. You see, pants are that pervasive. So I offer to you the following bit of complete nonsense, just for the sake of using all these pants-containing words.

I recently read an article about a distinguished pantologist, who is being recognized for her life’s work.

She is best known for her prediction of an alignment of planets, for which she used computations based on her observations of a species of bee that pollenates resupinate plants. She also recently received international attention for her study on the mating habits of the spantangus, large percentages of which were highly unexpected by the scientific community. She has hundreds of publications in dozens of fields, on topics ranging from pantheism and theories of pantisocracy, to histories of Pakistan and Palestine, to the cultivation of eggplants. She holds patents for many inventions, including a method for stapling using only dental floss, and various contraptions, such as one for plasticizing antipasto displays for restaurant windows, or another for separating vast quantities of egg whites from the yolks. It is hard to say which of her many achievements is most representative of her work.

She is a passionately creative spirit as well, and one of her favorite leisure pastimes is spattering colorful paints on paper, and pasting on patterns of pastina. She is also a talented pianist, and tapdances whenever she has the opportunity.

The pantologist attributes much of her early explorations into vast areas of knowledge to the eccentricities of her parents, with whom she has a strong relationship, and whose intellectual partnership was an inspiration to her. Her father was once a pantomimist, known for a routine of silent stamping of feet (clad in his signature pantoffles) and for his impersonations of 17th century philosophers and contemporaneous politicians. He left the entertainment industry after a complaints from a reviewer suggesting that his acts catered only to the whims of his sycophants. He then became quite reclusive, and dedicated his efforts to designing closets and pantries for small apartments. Her mother once had aspirations to become a paleontologist before becoming a veterinarian, with a specialization in elephants (which are known to be disproportionately challenging patients). Upon retiring, her parents devoted their time to running the family’s plantations, which primarily grow plantains and peanuts.

The distinguished pantologist’s record is not untarnished, however. There were some phantoms of rumors of misappropriation of funds, as well as some speculation about the ethics of some of her experimentations. There was the well-publicized scandal of 1983, during which she received some criticism for a study on the benefits of regular naptimes, in which participants were misled about the compensation they would receive. Her interpretations of data have also sometimes been called into question, and her explanations have not always been transparent. Her fan base, however, anticipates that these minor problems will soon be forgotten, and that she will be remembered for her accomplishments.

An award ceremony, an event with all the trappings for which elaborate preparations were made, was held last week. The article contained a brief transcript of the highlights of the award presentation, during which the distinguished pantologist surprised the audience with a spontaneous anecdote about an embarrassing incident from her youth involving the mispronunciation of the word cephalopod. The article was also accompanied by a few images, some with rather cryptic captions.

Okay, there it is. Anyone want to count how many words in this post contain the letters p-a-n-t-s? (I actually haven’t counted yet myself. I have work to do, you know.)
¹ An expression for which I now have (thanks to azahar, and the anagram generator to which she referred me) a veritable abundance of anagrams:

How about A Catnap Torsion Sprint? Or A Transact Pinion Sport? Or maybe A Tsarina Popcorn Stint?

breaking the spell of procrastination

I’ve lateley spent some time thinking about procrastination. And not just about procrastination, but about procrastination. The word, that is. Perhaps because I’ve been spending a lot of time procrastinating. Inspired by Sage‘s Word Wise Wednesday tradition, I thought I’d share a bit that I’ve learned about the etymology of procrastination. Remarkably, the meaning of the word has not drifted far, at least according to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

1548, from L. procrastinationem “a putting off,” noun of action from procrastinare “put off till tomorrow,” from pro- “forward” + crastinus “belonging to tomorrow,” from cras “tomorrow,” of unknown origin. Procrastinate is recorded from 1588.

It’s terribly unmysterious.

I was quite interested to note, however, the description of the word as a “noun of action.” In my experience, it often seems to be more of a noun of inaction. And what’s more, observe that one can spell the word inaction from a selection of the letters of the word procrastination. Coincidence? I think not.

Because let’s face it, without inaction, procrastination just wouldn’t be the same.¹

You may also be interested to learn that, in addition to inaction, the following words (and many, many more) can be made by using letters of procrastination:

pasta, carrot, onion, poi, toast, pots, coin, top
trap, scrap, ration, nation, station, Patton, stint, coot
tint, print, caption, croon, tiara, stair, star, icon, coop
scoop, poo, poots, crap, strip, carrion

and, you may be happy to learn


And do you want to know what got me a-ponderin’ about procrastination, and the words one can spell from its letters? I realized that one can spell…pants.


And of course, realizing that made me want to come up with a full-blown anagram for procrastination with pants. It’s been tricky, but here are my candidates.

Croatian roi pants²

coir pants ration³

I think my best attempt is this one:

Rio pants action: R

¹ Actually, without inaction, procrastination would end up something like prorast. And where would that get us?

² Using the a French word roi, meaning “king.” Or alternately “Croation iro pants,” using a Japanse word, iro, meaning “color.”

³ Where coir is a fiber that might be a bit rough for pants.