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This was posted today on cyberscribes and I thought it quite appropriate given recent discussions.
THE BOOK of LETTERS
In the beginning there was silence and there was no understanding. And then
man spoke and there was noise. And man called this noise language and said
"This is my Language in which I am well pleased, and I shall have no other
languages before it.” But Language went forth and multiplied.
And so it was that Proto-Indo-European begat Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Celtic,
Italic, Illyrian,Albanian, Thracian, Hellenic, Armenian, Phrygian, Anatolian,
Indo-Iranian and Tocharian and then died of exhaustion & was forgotten.
And it came to pass that Balto-Slavic subdivided and became Baltic and Slavic
and the number of their begating was three .... but
the languages of Slavic were fruitful and multiplied, went condo and ate up
the languages of Baltic.
Hellenic begat Greek and Italic begat Latin and had many other languages and
was eaten by its off-spring. Latin begat and begat and begat which was all
And Germanic Begat Anglo-Saxon which had an illicit relationship with Norman
French, the illegitimate off-spring of Old French and a Northern Dialect of
Germanic, & begat Middle English. And Middle English became vague and begat
English, a language which even its own speakers do not speak. And so Language
multiplied until the peoples of the earth could not understand themselves, and
there was no understanding.
There were in that same land Calligraphers and Scribes, and they said “Let
there be an Alphabet that we may grow and prosper.” and so there was an
Alphabet. Now in that Alphabet there were letters and unto each letter there was one
sound, or two sounds, or three sounds, or two letters for one sound and this
greatly pleased the Calligraphers and Scribes for no others could read it. And
so they grew and prospered.
Now each Language took unto itself an Alphabet except Latin. Latin took unto
itself the Greek alphabet, and after changing a few letters for copyright
protection, called it Roman and inflicted unto the far reaches of the world, even
unto Cleveland in the far west.
And the Calligraphers and Scribes conspired together and said “Now there is
an Alphabet there must be something to write.” and so they invented Literature.
Now those among the Calligraphers and Scribes who produced Literature called
themselves Authors. And the Authors waxed powerful among the Calligraphers and
Scribes for their writings were as numerous as the forms of the IRS and about
as understandable. And those who could not express themselves in their native
language quoted important passages in foreign languages and when pressed to
explain their eccentricities exclaimed “I know how to write, let others learn
to read.” And those amongst the Calligraphers and Scribes who were not Authors
grew sore afraid; so they invented Critics.
Then arose Joyce, a great one amongst the authors, who spoke for many hours
of many things and many were there among those present that drifted off to
sleep. There was one present who, after sleeping for many hours, awoke and found
that Joyce was still speaking and this so greatly disturbed his waking thoughts
that he emitted a piercing shriek and ran from the chamber. And thus it was
that the Scream of Consciousness became an integral part of Joyce's style.
But there were those amongst the Calligraphers and Scribes who could speak
but plainly. And they, wishing to share in rich spoils of confused thinking
arose early in the afternoon worked for many minutes and invented Statistics, and
Marketing Surveys, and after a three martini dinner did they invent jargon.
And thus did “Method” become “Methodology” and even the paradigm of “paradigm”
shifted and so did plain speaking become confused and plain speakers became
great by proving whatever they willed. And they called themselves Bureaucrats
and worshiped at the Bottom Line.
Then came forth out of this wilderness a prophet unto the Elders among the
Calligraphers and Scribes, even unto the High Author and Chief Bureaucrat, and
demanded of them explanations of their deeds. And the Elders answered him in
word both wise and wonderful and almost entirely content free. And the prophet
said unto them “Speak not to me in words of flowing rhetoric for I come from
the wilderness where I was Illuminating the Letters of the Law and yea, I can
recognize the droppings of male bovines when they are displayed before me.” And
they Answered him speaking such words as are not to be recorded in Holy Books.
And again he spoke, saying “Lo, it is written, for I have written it, that
one shall come forth from the wilderness and found a new order amongst the
scribes. Behold, here am I.”
And these be the words of the Prophet: “Yea, though I speak the words of
angels or the words of corruption yet shall they be considered wise; and yea,
though I walk uprightly amongst men or wind sideways through the sand on my belly,
yet shall I be respected, and yea, though my ancestry be of noble kin or that
of the barracuda and shark yet shall I be honored above all; for I am a
And so it came to pass that there was much wailing, and an outcry was
heard throughout the world, and there was much litigation, but there was still