June 05, 2004

The 256 names of... that Swedish guy

I'm afraid I have to offer readers of Language Log an apology. In an earlier post I admitted to being unable to remember the correct name of an excellent Swedish mystery writer named Hanking Mennell. Or that might be Manking Hennall (sp?). I can't remember. The apology is because I said that in my view there were 48 possibilities for Hanning's name. But recently I checked for one of them (Hennall Menking) to see if it was correct, and it wasn't on my list! The algorithm that I used to generate the list was wrong (I'm really not a good programmer). So I started again from scratch, and I am now confident that I have it right. There are a frightening 256 plausible-looking possibilities for this man's name.

Here's the list for reference. The correct name is somewhere in this table. Do look him up. (Sorry I can't help, but since I glanced at the table I've completely forgotten, again, which one is the correct name, so you're on your own):

Hankall MankingHenkall MankingMankall HankingMenkall Hanking
Hankall ManningHenkall ManningMankall HanningMenkall Hanning
Hankall MenkingHenkall MenkingMankall HenkingMenkall Henking
Hankall MenningHenkall MenningMankall HenningMenkall Henning
Hankell MankingHenkell MankingMankell HankingMenkell Hanking
Hankell ManningHenkell ManningMankell HanningMenkell Hanning
Hankell MenkingHenkell MenkingMankell HenkingMenkell Henking
Hankell MenningHenkell MenningMankell HenningMenkell Henning
Hanking MankallHenking MankallManking HankallMenking Hankall
Hanking MankellHenking MankellManking HankellMenking Hankell
Hanking MannallHenking MannallManking HannallMenking Hannall
Hanking MannellHenking MannellManking HannellMenking Hannell
Hanking MenkallHenking MenkallManking HenkallMenking Henkall
Hanking MenkellHenking MenkellManking HenkellMenking Henkell
Hanking MennallHenking MennallManking HennallMenking Hennall
Hanking MennellHenking MennellManking HennellMenking Hennell
Hannall MankingHennall MankingMannall HankingMennall Hanking
Hannall ManningHennall ManningMannall HanningMennall Hanning
Hannall MenkingHennall MenkingMannall HenkingMennall Henking
Hannall MenningHennall MenningMannall HenningMennall Henning
Hannell MankingHennell MankingMannell HankingMennell Hanking
Hannell ManningHennell ManningMannell HanningMennell Hanning
Hannell MenkingHennell MenkingMannell HenkingMennell Henking
Hannell MenningHennell MenningMannell HenningMennell Henning
Hanning MankallHenning MankallManning HankallMenning Hankall
Hanning MankellHenning MankellManning HankellMenning Hankell
Hanning MannallHenning MannallManning HannallMenning Hannall
Hanning MannellHenning MannellManning HannellMenning Hannell
Hanning MenkallHenning MenkallManning HenkallMenning Henkall
Hanning MenkellHenning MenkellManning HenkellMenning Henkell
Hanning MennallHenning MennallManning HennallMenning Hennall
Hanning MennellHenning MennellManning HennellMenning Hennell
Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at June 5, 2004 05:52 PM