Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Marvellous Alphabet

A cautionary tale on censorship - I'm not sure where this one came from, but I could hazard a guess. We had a creative writing exercise to write a lipogram - where we had to write some narrative excluding the letter E, so maybe that's the inspiration. The modified Wordsworth quotation came first, so it's likely, I suppose.

The Marvellous Alphabet

All praise to the marvellous alphabet!
It’s wonderful what it can do:
Arranging those symbols in different ways,
Depicting the sounds that we glue
Together to construct a series of words,
Representing our thoughts and our deeds;
To express our meanings to one and to all,
To pass on our concepts and creeds.

But what if some letters should become taboo?
We’re always told what we should think.
What if each day we are told we can’t use
One letter to save us some ink?
We wouldn’t discriminate – t’wouldn’t be fair.
We’d take it in turns to ignore
Particular letters each day, one by one.
But limiting though, to be sure.

Yes. You could quote Wordsworth, ignoring a U:
“I wandered lonely as a clod”
But, fun as that is, beware: don’t be swayed
As placed on your back, it’s a rod.
By using austerity as a big stick
It’s freedom they’re taking away.
It’s censorship hidden in monet’ry terms;
It’s limiting what you can say.

So embrace your marvellous alphabet
Ignoring the government howls.
Value each letter, each consonant group,
Each diphthong from pairing your vowels.
Develop your words and write what you will,
Communicate thoughts and ideas
And enrich the language, make sure you maintain
The freedom we’ve held all these years.