Finding Philander’s Hidden Messages: Anagrams that Reveal the Truth
The anagram. That sweet scramble, not of an egg, but of the letters in a word. It is this wild, linguistic wordplay that continues to blow the minds of those scholarly enough to dabble in its art form.
Here at Kenyon we like to think we’re a scholarly bunch. We discuss politics and drink out of bowls at Peirce. We argue over ethical issues and Graham Gund’s architecture as we sip on Keystone. We debrief class discussions and the new Drake album as we saunter down Middle Path. So between the sweaty all campus parties and the pungent smell of the deli, Kenyon’s scholarly prowess is clear.
Now what should be near and dear to all Kenyon scholar’s hearts do you ask? That would be an anagram. Little does the community know, that our founder and main man, Philander Chase’s favorite past time was, in fact, wordplay of the anagram persuasion. So to spice up our lives and gives us a little THRILL, Philander hid messages within the names of the buildings on campus.
To reveal the true names of Kenyon College buildings, as our founding father intended, one must become an anagrammist: rearranging the letter in a word to create a new word. Gund Residence is not simple “Gund Residence” with its straight halls and nursing home vibes, but rather “deducing sneer”, which, interestingly enough, is the response one often gets when declaring Gund as one’s homeland. In this interaction a “Mather Mcbride” kid may even display their own hidden name of “embraced mirth” towards the Gund resident; while the “Old Kenyon” dweller will head to the KAC after learning their dorm’s maiden name was simply “non yolked”.
Philander’s thoughts about the a cappella groups comes out as we further examine “Rosse Hall” and reveal its true name to be “ass holler”. Sorry kids, your angelic voices and snappy fingers are just an ass holler to old Phil. Most eerie of all the hidden messages, might be Philander’s premonition of the 2020 plan, as “Olin Chambers Library” transforms into “criminally bash borer”. He may be telling us to bash the borer that is Olin, but criminally… take that as you will.
So next time you want to investigate the inner workings of our beloved college, scramble up a hearty serving of anagrams and make your friends think you’re on the verge of a stroke when you call “South Campus” “mucus hot spa”.