Written in 1997.
The skies were especially cloudy that day, not long ago. While walking along, I happened upon a most curious tome, the words “On Proper Language” inscribed upon its cover. Without hesitation, I opened it up and began to read thus:
“Th mprtnc f lngg hs lng bn dbtd. Cmmnctn, s wtht dbt, ncssty. Hwvr, lngg s sly crrptd, nd s tht whch s prcvd s cmmnctn s, n fct, dcptn. n xmpl: f t s sd ‘rrgnc s rplsv t m,’ nd y mk yrslf rrgnt t m, s t nt bng sd tht ‘y r rplsv t m?’ Stngng rprch cncld s sttmnt: th ssnc f lngg.
“f crs, dcptn wtht ntntn s th sm s msndrstndng, whch ls ccrs wthn lngg. f spkn th wrds ‘thr nc dgs,’ hw s mnng dtrmnd? s t mnt ‘th dgs blngng t thm r nc,’ r ‘thy r nc dgs,’ r s t pr grmmr, sttmnt f pstn lckng vrb? Cnnttns r dffrnt, nd prhps ffns cn b tkn, yt n n wrrs? r th msss tht ndffrnt? W hv bn gvn gfts, w hv bn gvn rds f nfrmtn ntrchng, yt w cr nt nd bs t whm. Cn ths b rght?
“Prhps t s th trth w ddg, thgh ndd t s nddgbl. t s ll-ncmpssng, ll dtls ncssry fr cmplt pctrs, bt qck w r t lv t prtns hr nd thr. n wrd ds nt dffrncs mk, xcpt n ‘lghtnng nd lghtnng bg.’ Bt n mttr, thngs r dn, nd w th nly ns t blm. t s r lngg, crrptd by r mths nd mnds, nd mrrrng nly th srfc, whch s ll w wnt sn nywy.
“Th Ntn f ctrs, prhps? t s sd ‘th ply s th trgdy ‘Mn’,’ lt s thn tk p r rls nd ct thm mst prdly! N shm, n shm, t s r dty, lt s nt nglct! Wldn’t tht b trgdy ndd!”
Ever so curious reading…but the point is well conveyed. A best-seller for the future? Perhaps one for the present, for even today, its nonsensical rambling is not surprising. Details, details. Inconsequential, easily overlooked, what difference could they make? As long as one does not mince their words too badly, I suppose any literature will serve its purpose. Amazing how less than a fifth can almost become a majority, is it not?
With that, I tucked the book under my arm, and continued on my way.
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