Year 1: that useless letter ‘c’ would be dropped to be replaced either by a ‘k’ or ‘s’, and likewise ‘x’. The only case in which ‘c’ would be retained would be the ‘ch’ formation of which more later.
Year 2: reform ‘w’ spelling, so that ‘which’ and ‘won’ would take the same konsonant,
Year 3: might well abolish ‘y’ replasing it with ‘i’
Iear 4: fiks the ‘g/j’ anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, improvement would kontinue iear bai iear.
Iear 5: do awai with useless double konsonants
Iears 6-12: modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.
Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridundant letez ‘c’, ‘y’ and ‘x’ – bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez – tu riplais ‘ch’, ‘sh’ and ‘th’ rispektivli. Fainali, xen, after sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl reform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
Often attributed to Mark Twain but believed to have been by an MJ Shields: adapted from Henry Hitchings’ fabulous book “The Language Wars – A History of Proper English”
“Cafe wit may be divided into jokes about those who are absent and jibes at those who are present. This kind of wittiness is known elsewhere as mere vulgarity. There’s no greater proof of an impoverished mind than its inability to be witty except at other people’s expense”
– Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
That just about rules out all comedy and satire which, to be candid, are only funny when you’re not the butt of the joke. Still …
Thought this was funny. Taken from Don DeLillo’s book Underworld:
So this guy’s on his honeymoon in Acapulco and he’s heard all the stories about the incredible cunning of Speedy Gonzalez, the fastest lover in Mexico, and he’s frankly worried, he’s a highly nervous type and so on the first night, the night of nights, he’s in bed with his wife and he’s got his middle finger plugged up her snatch to keep Speedy Gonzalez from sneaking in there when he’s not looking. So then he’s dying for a smoke and he reaches over for a second to get his cigarettes and matches. So then he lights up quick and and reaches back to the bed finger-first. And Speedy Gonzalez says, Sen-yor-or, you got your finger up my a-ass.
The question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, because we have no experience or authentic information from which to answer it; and that any answer only throws the difficulty a step further back, since the question immediately presents itself, Who made God?
– Autobiography, John Stuart Mill. First published 1873.
Bullshit has never been my strongest suit and that has been a spectacular failing. I can only surmise from the actions of some people I have met on my journey through time that there is an LSD kind of trip that comes with knowingly stringing people along pretending to expert views on things one can not possibly be assured of.
If I don’t know something pretty well it’s pretty clear soon enough that I don’t. I hedge, I “er” and I “hmm”. To my frustration, I’ve found that this does not work very well in the traditional corporate environment. Actually it doesn’t work at all! People, it seems, demand rock solid assurance and the type of conviction that only comes from hallucinogenic and spiritual omniscience.
So when I have found myself listening to an economist or an analyst it’s obvious as mud that they are good, not at forecasting or guesstimating the future, but at telling stories. They are usually so convincing that the content in their message becomes irrelevant. Listeners are easily impressed by presentation skills (ah, that’s why oratory was such a core part of Ancient Greek and Roman curriculum) and I have often heard colleagues say things like “I liked him. He presented very well.” Not what he presented but how.
As I reflect on my working life I see that it’s colleagues who suck up, fit in, palm off other people’s ideas as theirs, fold into the consensus and who speak volubly of views in a cock “sure 100%” manner who do way better than the practical logical guy who won’t factually state an opinion except it can be backed up by a QED.
Walter Isaacson relates in his bio of Steve Jobs a piece of advice given to young Steve by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell: “Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.” Now without that sleeve of wisdom being imbibed and executed to perfection I may not have been typing this blog today on a MacBook Pro or any computer at all. The wonders of faking it never ceases to amaze and I sure do have a lot to learn about the peculiar earth-born genus called homo.
You get on the train and take your seat. Phew! The light is good and your eyes are rested. Your book, itching to be read, falls open at the right page and the world around you, like sugar in boiling water, speedily dissolves. Another day, a new train but this time, your ear catches on to floating conversation and hangs tight. As hard as you try you can’t unhook it and dive into your book. Oh Sisyphus, you should see my uphill struggle! Why, why, why, does this happen? By the time you or Chatterbox get off the train you’ve lost five or six pages that are never coming back.