The concepts of Onamography and Onnicles were invented by Sameer Kamat in India, in the late 90’s. It was first published over a decade later (Dec 2009) in the Herald Sun, Australia’s leading newspaper with an estimated daily readership of 1.5 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Onamography?
Onamography- coined as a conjunction of the Greek words onuma (‘name’) and graphe (‘writing’) – is a unique word game concept invented by Sameer Kamat. The basic idea is to creatively incorporate proper nouns (celebrity names, company names etc) in regular English sentences. It made its debut in the Herald Sun (Australia’s best selling daily).
Solving and creating onnicles requires a combination of creativity, pattern recognition skills, wit, language skills and general knowledge.
What are onnicles?
Onnicles (short for Onamographic Articles) are regular sentences or paragraphs that encapsulate one or more proper names.
There are 2 types of onnicles:
Simple Onnicles have ALL the characters of the original name in the same sequence and without breaks (spaces are allowed). However, the first name and second name could be positioned independently.
Tricky Onnicles have many characters of the original name in the same sequence with several characters bunched together. Try to avoid too many superfluous characters. It just makes it the solving process extremely tough and less enjoyable.
How do I solve onnicles?
Simple onnicles: In most cases, a clue may not even be required for the simple ones. Look at the intersection of words and try to find the embedded name.
Tricky onnicles: This may require a little more effort than the simple ones as the proper name could be split into two or more groups of characters separated by several superfluous characters/words. Generally clues are provided.
How do I create onnicles?
Step 1 – Choose a (real or fictional) celebrity name. This could also be extended to other proper nouns (companies, movies, cars, product names etc).
Step 2 – Break the name up into components. Try to bunch as many characters close to each other as possible.
Step 3 – Create a sentence around it, so it sounds coherent. Respect (but don’t over-respect) grammatical rules as much as possible.
Easier said than done!
Is there a technical name for this concept?
The experts from the International Linguistics Community Online don’t think there is. Someone suggested the (ahem) ‘much clearer crypto-namedropping‘.
So as long as we are having fun with it, we stop getting overly concerned about technical names and stick to our coined words – Onamography and Onnicles.
Check out what some of the experts have to say about the concept – Buzzworthy postings on the web.
Are there any guidelines for making onnicle submissions?
– Look at the other onnicles that have been posted on this site to get an idea of what we are looking for. The concept is less about showing off and more about having fun creating and solving onnicles.
– If the names from the onnicle are non-obvious, it helps if all the names are taken from a common webpage. We could add this as part of the OnniClue. Those who are not familiar with the theme can also participate, if there’s some source to get them started.
– Keep it crisp, clean and non-controversial. Avoid unnecessary words/sentences. Ideally, every sentence will have at least one name.
– Proof read your entry before you submit. Are you sure the answer list is accurate, non-redundant (no duplicates) and covers all valid answers?
– Overall, have fun while you are creating your onnicles.
If you are looking for reasons that go beyond entertainment (our primary motivation for launching this initiative), here’s a summary of the research that’s been carried out over the years on the effect of mental stimulation on aspects such as memory, processing speed, efficiency and on stopping/reversing cognitive impairment (including a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia).
We may not have the medical background to appreciate or challenge some of the neuroscientific technicalities in these reports. To be honest, I have no idea if I even have a left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (as referred to in one of those technical papers). Also these reports are not specific to Onamography. But we could use common sense to try and extrapolate what it might mean from a practical perspective.
The message seems pretty clear – use it or lose it.
If you like the concept, show your support by ‘Liking’ us on Facebook –> Onnicles Word Games.
Australian syndication agency Auspac Media (Australia) manages worldwide syndication rights.
For general questions, contact us: onnicles [at] gmail [dot] com
The ‘Onnicles’ name & logo are registered trademarks of the inventor.