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- Gur nycunorg pna or pbafvqrerq qvtvgf va onfr 26. (N=0, O=1, .., M=25). Vs lbh gnxr rnpu yrggre naq nqq 13 gb vg, gura gnxr gur yrggre zbq 26, lbh jvyy rffragvnyyl fuvsg gur ragver nycunorg nebhaq 13 cbfvgvbaf va n evat. Qb guvf gb n obql bs grkg, naq vg vf pnyyrq ebg13. Aba-nycunorgvp punenpgref ner vtaberq, pnfr vf cerfreirq. ebg13 vg ntnva naq vg ergheaf gb abezny.
Which rot13s to...
- The alphabet can be considered digits in base 26. (A=0, B=1, .., Z=25). If you take each letter and add 13 to it mod 26, you will essentially shift the entire alphabet around 13 positions in a ring. Do this to a body of text, and it is called rot13. Non-alphabetic characters are ignored, case is preserved. rot13 it again and it returns to normal.
RotThirteen is a standard from a long, long time ago on the 'net. It is a form of encryption, but it isn't meant to be strong--indeed, it is meant to be extremely weak. It was used essentially to protect people from reading what they didn't really want to. At least not without deciding explicitly to rot13 it again.
rot13 can be usefully applied to many situations, especially:
- Punch lines to jokes.
- Answers to riddles.
- Profanity in a family forum.
- Obscene comments in any forum.
It is a form of UnlockedDoors.
The fundamental concept of considering the alphabet to be a number system comprised of 26 characters has some interesting facets. For example...
- Consider using this base 26 approach to 'encoding' a value in the same way as is done in the traditional base 10 system's polynomial expansion, where ... 101 = 1x10^^2 + 0x10^^1 + 1x10^^0.
- A bit of experimentation makes it obvious that much denser 'values' or numberic representations can be achieved.
- By the way, in a base 10 system, the position of the '0' is quite interesting, especially since this was a later addition to the first number system. For several reasons, it may make more sense to assign the alphabetic characters the values A=1, B=2, C=3, ... Z=0 (Zero)
- "power" users may wish to extend this further an recognize that a base 256 ("FF") system would be even denser.
To make the point that this has some practical value and is not just "fun with numbers", consider that a basic wiki page name can be thought of as nothing more than an encoded "value", which generally is expressed in a very sparse representation (i.e. a string of CamelCase words). Since it is quite easy to create a trivial macro that will encode the page name as a base 26 alphabetic, it become possible to create a prefic or a suffix syllable that is part of a local string, equivalent to a page name, that also is encode with a complete set of tags.
- Thistype of encoding is actually quite similar to the encoding that is already being done 'behind the scenes' when the page name is converted to the corresponding SQL key for wikis that use databases.
- If this is of interest to anyone, it will be relatively easy to expand this explanation further, but until then, let's not bother.
The longest words whose rot13s are also words are... abjurer and nowhere.