Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Cilly Letter "C"

c is for crazy cat

c is for caged crania

c is for comb

I was assigned the letter “c” by Willow more than a week ago. As I was contemplating this letter, I realized that I don’t like it much because I don’t associate many good things with it. Most of the “c” words that I use are hard sounding like “cackle,” “click” and “cold”. Even the “ch” words, except for “Christmas” are harsh, such as “challenge,” “chaos,” “choke” and “Chlamydia”.

It turns out that I’m not the only one with a disaffection for this tough little letter. In fact, Jakob Neilson, a web pioneer (http://www.useit.com) declared the letter “unusable.” It turns out that 83% of the words that we look-up start with the letter “c,” mostly because of the “i before e rule.” And of course there’s that annoying little issue of it mimicking two other letters in our alphabet, namely “k” and “s”. I mean look at the word “mimicking” – what good is the “c” in that word anyway?

Why not get rid of “c” if there are other letters that can substitute for it and that make more sense? For example, “.com” would just become “.kom.” The letter “c” originated with the Etruscans, and actually stood for the sound of “g” before there was a “g,” and I don’t see them needing it anymore.

This elimination idea seemed simple enough until Neilson proposed using “x” for the “ch” sound, such as “xh,” which would require us eliminating the “z” sound for the “x” and..

Well, from there on his treatise lost me. I’ll leave the rest to the linguists and the language pioneers on the web and elsewhere. But I just want to say-- I’m open to change if it will make things simpler (and my spelling better, which is wrong, coincidentally, about 83% of the time).

Inspired by my OS writer friend, Gwen Cooper*, I wrote some Haikus for your enjoyment that are composed mostly of “c” words, plus a few other helpful letters:

Christianity
come comfort and communion
my close connection

camping in the cold
all covered in cloaks of clothes
a crackling fire comforts me

cigarettes as clubs
clonking clueless children
closing their chances

conifers cycle
C02 and clean the air
clear compensation

congratulations
one challenge conquered
click click click comes another

those cursed credit cards
cleverly choke your choices
closing in on you

cooperation
consensus can be coerced
caution censorship

a clever cheater
charisma cloaks clarity
cleaves closely to compliments

chaos confusion
confrontational cretins
cognitive dissonance clangs

cackle: the urban echo
of grievances and complaints
challenge civility most

chickadee coulter
a conservative cynic
cackles in conjoint clamor

clearly charming colonel
a candidate for congress
character charade

a cantilever
catapults the chaise cockeyed
crazy conundrum

complex chimera
coyly collective creatures
creating chaos

cold clammy crazy
what was comfort before now
chaos for cocaine addicts

callous cad Charlie
Chlamydia came courting
clueless now childless Claire

consider your cat
collectively conniving
cat considers you

* Go HERE for some vivid haikus by Gwen Cooper

2 comments:

  1. This was a very clever and charming "c" post, Denese! Thanks for playing. I thoroughly enjoyed this. You obviously put a lot of though into it. wow.

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  2. I'm glad you thought it was clever. That was and is often the intent, although that isn't always the outcome.

    Really, it was fun, particularly the poetry, which are haikus by syllabic definition only. Not much visualization here but I did the best I could with what I had!

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