Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quotes of the week: The Alphabet

Two for one this week!

In all the alphabets yet created there lies a wealth, an abundance, of possible creative interpretations which we only perceive as we give them more intensive study. The letter was formed, and to form implies creation. This is a divine process, even when it takes place with the four walls of a humble workshop . . .
--Alfred J. Ludwig

Each letter of the Roman/European alphabet does seem to have its own character. The quotation above reminds me of a passage from The Phantom Tollbooth. Milo is walking through the marketplace in Dictionopolis and spies a vendor selling individual letters:

"Here, taste an A; they're very good."

Milo nibbled carefully at the letter and discovered that it was quite sweet and delicious--just the way you'd expect an A to taste.

"I knew you'd like it," laughed the letter man, popping two G's and an R into his mouth and letting the juice drip down his chin. "A's are one of our most popular letters. All of them aren't that good," he confided in a low voice. "Take the Z, for instance--very dry and sawdusty. And the X? Why, it tastes like a trunkful of stale air. That's why people hardly ever use them. But most of the others are quite tasty. Try some more."

He gave Milo an I, which was icy and refreshing, and Tock a crisp, crunchy C.

--Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

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