JABBER: The Jabberwocky Engine

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JABBER: The Jabberwocky Engine is a Java program created by Neil Hennessy, a poet and new media artist.[1] Its purpose is to create neologisms of the type used by Lewis Carroll in his poem Jabberwocky.

The Jabberwocky Engine operates by connecting randomly floating letters in its operational box using lexical rules to create letter combinations that are likely to form pronounceable English words. Users may then incorporate the created words into their own Jabberwocky-like poems.

Jabberwocky uses the digital environment to demonstrate the analogy between linguistic chemistry and molecular chemistry. Each of the letters represent atoms, while words act as molecules; they interact within the digital interface.[2]


Hennessy's work has garnered some attention among digital media academics. It has been studied as part of a course on digital media at George Mason University,[3] and the University of Otago,[4] and has been reviewed by the International Center for Contemporary Art's electronic magazine, who said: "Just as poets resort to rhyming dictionaries, fledgling nonsense versifiers now have JABBER: The Jabberwocky Engine."[5]


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