Sleepy Alphabet Tricks

Sometimes when I’m lying in bed at night and wish I were sleeping, I challenge myself to generate alphabetical lists. When I choose the right sort of list, I find the task occupying enough to distract me from unpleasant thoughts (EARTHQUAKE EARTHQUAKE EARTHQUAKE) and calming enough (usually) to invite sleep. The first few lists I made were names: 10 “female” names for each letter, A – Z, and then ten “male” names. At some point I switched to books and movies; I’m currently working on plays. (Stuck on J. Please do not help.)

Two recent lists that I enjoyed making immensely: movies with one-word titles and movies whose titles begin with progressive verbs. Remember, I made this late at (or in the middle of the) night, with no access to IMDB. I’m reconstructing both lists here, from memory and imperfectly.

One-Word Movie Titles

  1. Amelie
  2. Babe
  3. Chicago
  4. Dune
  5. Election
  6. Fargo
  7. Gremlins
  8. Happiness
  9. Inception
  10. Junebug
  11. Koyaanisqatsi
  12. Lilies
  13. Memento
  14. Nell
  15. Oliver
  16. Parenthood
  17. Queens
  18. Ray
  19. Sideways
  20. Thumbsucker
  21. Up
  22. V (oops, TV miniseries only)
  23. Wild
  24. X-Men
  25. Yesterday (guessing that there’d be a movie with this title; there are several)
  26. Zoolander

Progressive-Verb-Initiated Movie Titles

  1. Awakenings (well . . . that’s a gerund, so . . . maybe doesn’t count?)
  2. Breaking Away
  3. Capturing the Friedmans
  4. Driving Miss Daisy
  5. Eating Raoul
  6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  7. Going the Distance
  8. Hanging Up
  9. Inventing the Abbots
  10. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  11. Kicking and Screaming
  12. Leaving Las Vegas
  13. Making the Grade
  14. N . . . NO N? There’s NO N?
  15. O . . . also no O?
  16. Playing for Keeps
  17. Quitting Time (guess)
  18. Remembering the Titans
  19. Saving Silverman
  20. Trading Places
  21. U . . . I think I feel asleep here.
  22. V . . . and now that I’m awake, the Internet isn’t helping.
  23. Walking and Talking
  24. X . . . ha ha ha ha ha.
  25. Y . . . nada.
  26. Z . . . kaput.

Okay, so perhaps this latter list wasn’t as successful as I’d imagined. Maybe it was the two-word title list I loved? So you have that to look forward to, if I ever get around to reconstructing it. Meanwhile, I’m sure I’m not the first person to notice that almost all of the lesser-used letters are at the end of the alphabet. How did that happen, I wonder? And why are the vowels so evenly distributed?


2 Responses to “Sleepy Alphabet Tricks”

  1. Liza says:

    I never imagined other people did things like this. I have used the female/male names list, also the cities that begin with…list, food words/names list, but not the one word movies or other movie or book title ones. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. admin says:

    Hey, Liza! I’m psyched to get ideas, too. I’ve done countries . . . maybe not cities? And I definitely haven’t done food. I’ll put that on the agenda. Oh, and I think I’ve done authors as well. Happy listing!

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