After yesterday's bit of fun with Python and the English dictionary, the thought suddenly popped into my head:
There are eight six letter words in English whose letters are in alphabetical order. But what about reverse alphabetical order?
Luckily, the change was a simple one. If you pass
--reverse to the
longest-words.py script, it simply reverses the alphabet you're comparing against:
if "--reverse" in sys.argv: # Reverse the LETTERS list so that 'z' is at the start of the # alphabet and so on. LETTERS = LETTERS[::-1]
(It's a bit rudimentary but it does the job, and we don't care about the fact that we're mutating the global variable
LETTERS since the whole script is short-lived).
Turns out that when you reverse the alphabet you actually get only two words with ordered letters, both 7 seven letters long:
$ python longest-word.py --reverse sponged (7), wronged (7)
John Meinel wondered in a comment whether German would give us significantly longer words. Expect an update on this later...
Code is on github of course.