Provincial Letters

Far from the mad crowds of the city, Blaise Pascal passed comment on the strange behaviour of this urban contemporaries in his Provincial Letters. The connection between them and this blog is somewhat tenuous.

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Location: Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My star sign in Superstition. And I didn't believe in reincarnation last time, either. The only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. I am a fanatical ant-fanaticist. I am bigotted only where bigots are concerned. I am a fundamentalist atheist. I'm proud to be a product of evolution; I know it in my genes.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Posted @ 13:27Up Tqimmoph

Let's begin with a little game. The following are versions of the same, well-known thing, can you identify it?

"shld i be a playa or jst 1 ov th kwrd thatz wot fux me up is ut kwla to sit bak & tak al th sht or jst get twld, shwt the bstrds & wtch th wnkrs di"

"vu ci us pus vu ci sjev ot vji raitoup xjivjis iv ot pucmis op vji nopf vu cies esnt eheoptve e tie ug vsuacmit us ca uqqutoph ipf vjin"

"bb | !bb i.e. ? etc."

It probably goes without saying that this isn't a competition and answers will not be published (unless they are).

All the above are examples of the sort linguistic and orthographic freedoms which are supposed to make us all more creative and all texts more relevant. If spelling is unimportant and the writer has no duty to encourage communication, then why not use an orthography like the second example above. It's logical and consistent and, with a little work, intelligible. Some may take exception to it's consistency: consistency and rules are bugbears which stifle sponteneity. The third example takes things a little further.

But why stop there?

Surely if spelling doesn't matter and it's up to the reader to understand the writer no matter what then surely "$$$" could be a suitable rendtition of the above (I know what it means and it's your fault if you don't understand).

Think of it: if you have to sit an exam which asks you to detail the causes and consequences of the Irish Potato famine of the 1870's you could answer "Ford Fiester is a kar" secure in the knowledge that the examiner will work out that you really do understand the subject and deserve an "A" rather than being too lazy to bother.

So let's finish with a joke:

"whjj hello Nijell. chikin saled. Blanc."

Hillarious, eh?


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