Written and spoken language has always amazed me because the concept is so bizarre. It’s like.. we communicate to each other.. by making specific sounds that mean certain things… and then other people can understand those sounds… but some people can’t and you have to make different sounds so they can understand you… Then there’s the concept of written language where we draw symbols, and each symbol represents one of those sounds and when you put the symbols together you make a message, and other people can interpret that message. It’s just really weird when you think about it rationally, just like how the alphabet doesn’t have to be in a specific order, but we put it in order anyways, just because, like really there’s no real reason to make an ‘abc’ order. That doesn’t even matter because we’re going to end up rearranging it anyways to spell something else, like cat or floccinaucinihilipilification.
Though letters are just symbols, they’re such an important part of everyday life, I mean I couldn’t even be writing this blog post without letters! A book I really like that describes this concept is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Oh man, this book is just so cool. Honestly, one of the most “original books I have ever read” it says so on the cover. So it goes down like this, it’s a compilation of “letters” between citizens of this place called Nollop, which is named after the dude who founded the town and created the phrase “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” and if you don’t know the significance of that phrase, it’s a phrase that is written with every letter of the alphabet. So the phrase is written on a plaque in the town square and one day there’s a really bad storm. So the storm knocks off a tile and the council is like “well that means we can’t use that letter anymore like at all.” So everyone stops using the certain letters because there’s just such severe punishments if you do use the letters.
One after another, the tiles keep falling off and the citizens attempts to find a phrase that uses all 26 letters that’s shorter than the phrase that Nollop made, proving that his phrase is just a phrase and doesn’t have some divine meaning behind it.
No but here’s the really really rad part, since the book is written in the point of view of the citizens, more specifically the letters they write to one another, they have to stop using the letters as they fall, and just it’s so clever! Like at first you don’t notice, and the author was really dedicated too, like if you look back, once they fall the letters are never used again, but as you keep going on, you start to realize, wait… how to do you write without these letters… and just… it’s really incredible… Like… It’s such a fantastic book okay. Really well done, really clever, and all in all it’s a pretty light book, not too hard to get through.