Howard L. Chace

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Howard L. Chace
Born Howard L. Chace
Occupation author, college professor, humorist, organist

Howard L. Chace was a professor of Romance languages at Miami University, who wrote poems and stories employing homophonic transformation.

In 1940, he wrote Ladle Rat Rotten Hut to demonstrate that the intonation of spoken English is almost as important to the meaning as the words themselves. It was first published in Gene Sherman's column in the Los Angeles Times in 1953[1] and in the first issue of Sports Illustrated in 1954.[2]

In Ladle Rat Rotten Hut a single word forms several in the correct version (e.g., "evanescent" becomes "if it isn't"), and sometimes several are combined to make one word ("on-forger-nut" becomes "unfortunate"). Every word can be found in most collegiate dictionaries, with the exception of "icer" (which is in Merriam-Webster's Unabridged).

"Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" was later published in his book Anguish Languish (1956) after it was read on television by Arthur Godfrey. Ogden Nash, after reading the book, mailed Chace his own Anguish Languish version of a popular song. Chace also received letters from his readers containing Anguish Languish adaptations of familiar works.[3]

He was a competent organist and often played during the showing of silent movies.


  • Chace, Howard L. (1935). An outline of a course of lectures on the French novel from 1607 to 1761 (Thesis/dissertation (Manuscript)). OCLC 34612046. 
  • Chace, Howard L. (1956). Anguish Languish [English Language]. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. OCLC 2539398. 
  • Chace, Howard L. (1956). Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Oldstyle Press. OCLC 49208995. 
  • "Slipping Booty". Sports Illustrated. Time, Inc. 11 (7): 26. 1959. 


  1. ^ "Parlor sport". Sports Illustrated: 25–26. 16 August 1954. 
  2. ^ "Events & Discoveries". Sports Illustrated. 20 August 1956. 
  3. ^ ""Ladle Rat Rotten Hut," a Screwy Version of Old Tale, by Prof. Chace, Kappa, '21, Brings Mail Flood from All US, with Assists by Arthur Godfrey". The Deke quarterly. Delta Kappa Epsilon. 73 (1). 1955. 

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