'Acrostic' Spikes Following Hidden Messages in Letters of Resignation
We saw lookups for acrostic spike on August 23, 2017, following a detailed letter
of resignation from Daniel Kammen as Science Envoy for the State Department. Kammen
resigned by using the first letter of each paragraph, read top to bottom, to spell the word IMPEACH.
Days earlier, a mass resignation by members of the President’s Council on Arts and Humanities
spelled RESIST with the first letter of each paragraph. Both letters cited President Trump’s failure to
make a clear condemnation of white supremacists’ violent demonstrations in Charlottesville.
Acrostic is defined as:
:a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (such as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet
This word came to English from French and Latin, ultimately from the Greek word akrostichis, which
took acr- (“top”) and stichos (“line”) to form a single word.
Even though the words seem similar, acrostic is not related to across.
Related to acrostic is telestich, in which the final letters spell a name.