The History of Communication

I received a comment that made me feel I should post this. It’s a poem I wrote about using huge and obscure words. The general consensus I have gotten from it is that you don’t care too much if you don’t bother to translate it. But if you get a dictionary out and translate your way through, you will love it. And the moral, think audience.

The History of Communication

Beginning
man
no speak
man
not know
what
other man
think
but then man developt language skils and made them in to wurking riteing.
Not everry persun cud reed and rite, but all peeple cud speek.
Everry man understood his naybors
and everry man cummunikated with others, suksesfully.
And man invented the dictionary, so that there would be standard spellings of words
though the spelling made little sense.
But man created public education, and most could learn to read and write
and two people across an ocean could communicate without crossing that ocean.
There were translators, who could turn one language into another and everyone could communicate with everyone else.
But there always was a certain class of men, who wanted to be different.
Surely, they thought, they were greater than the others;
that they were naturally better in intelligence and ability to understand.
The aristocracy created a separate language,
one only they could speak,
one only they could understand;
no one could pose as an aristocrat.
Nay, the aristocrats did not perish, they transmutated
into the modern elite sect, the elitist.
Abashed are those who utter vulgarities,
proletarian linguistics,
that which any ignoramus could verbalize.
All recepted their obtuseness,
Charlatans deployed their elegiac dialectics
though misappropriating the lexicon
and naught perceived their abdication.
Hominid essayed to demarcate itself from hominid.
It reaped the fruitage of its slogging
as the patricians canorous, mellifluous vernacular metamorphosed
into enigmatic and unfathomable verbalizations vociferating their pre-eminence.
Nought of the braggadocios discerned that they were tantamount to aphasiacs,
nought comprehended that the intendment of language is elucidation,
it is to swimmingly relate labyrinthine, multifarious abstractions.
The Alpha and Omega of utterance is cryptic obscurity.
We have peregrinated from guileless cacophony to sophisticated caterwauling.
In the finalization of verbalization
hominids fabricate guttoral and glottal utterances.
Yet nought of the hominids coalesced the utterances
of their compatriot hominids into coherent cognisance.
Nought comprehended the cognisant ruminations of the omnifarious hominids.

14 Responses to “The History of Communication”

  1. Richard Says:

    Nice. It’s really not all that difficult to comprehend :0
    I like the evolution of the poem though; it’s very fluid.

    Allow me a little constructive criticism ( I, like every other other schmo, write poetry):
    The line “The Alpha and Omega of utterance is cryptic obscurity”
    didn’t seem to cohere with the idea you were expressing before it: you’re telling the story of men, saying that the linguistic elitists ultimately and ironically turn aphasic through their own vain ambitions for enlightenment and exclusionary erudition. So it seems the line should read something like,
    “The Alpha and the Omega of utterance is lucid perspicuity,” or something.

    Second, you kept using “naught” as an adjective…which is OK I guess… but it is usually used as a noun; as in, “all my efforts came to naught.”

    Nice work!
    Check this out: http://blogusablog.com/my-words

  2. Stephen Tash Says:

    The alpha and omega line is more the beginning of the conclusion. It was my first non-rhyming poem ever, and I feel guilty writing them because they’re so much easier. As for the line suggestion, it would seem to be the opposite of the intended meaning, that most people who read that far have no idea what that line means anyways :P

    As for nought:

    naught also nought (nôt) Pronunciation Key
    n.
    1. Nonexistence; nothingness.
    2. The figure 0; a cipher; a zero.

    pron. Nothing: All their work was for naught.

    adj.
    1. Nonexistent.
    2. Insignificant.

    so it does have an adjective as well, as I used thesaurus.com to look up these words :P I wanted the most obscure words with that meaning.

    But thank you for the feedback, glad you enjoyed the poem.

  3. Stephen Tash Says:

    and I was expecting poetry on that page, but other than “collation” which in it’s first definition is collating, as in putting papers in order, an office term, should not be used as I’m trying to say :)

  4. Stephen Tash Says:

    btw, I did respond to your other comment and brought it to Stewart Alexander’s attention as well.

  5. Richard Says:

    as i mentioned, i realize it may be used as an adjective or a noun…just more common to be used as a noun.

    so you get what i mean about the Alpha and Omega line?

    isn’t the entire premise of the poem that language without comprehension is meaningless, give or take?

    When you say, “The Alpha and Omega of utterance is cryptic obscurity” you are implying that the “everything” of language is cryptic obscurity! which seams to contradict your premise.
    Where am I going astray?

  6. Richard Says:

    in the context i read it, “collation” referred to food…i think it was in a Goethe translation. It’s the third or so down in the def. i think.

  7. Richard Says:

    I came across this, thought you might like it:

    http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=287753:
    The word naughty actually comes from naught, via an intermediate sense of “worthless”. Ultimately they’re all the same word, and the Old English is ná-wiht, that is “no wight”. That’s wight as in Tolkien’s barrow-wights, a wight being an obsolete word for a creature.

  8. Stephen Tash Says:

    Oh, more specific, Alpha being the beginning, and Omega being the end. Not the everything, though seeing as that’s used in reference to God being everything I can see where you may have gotten that. The beginning and end of language, the early grunts and the last aristocratic words are cryptic and obscure.

    And I figured that’s what you were reading it as being when I looked it up. I had to think that collation didn’t seem to fit and was worried it was a spelling issue with me.

  9. Stephen Tash Says:

    actually, that link says “Everything.com” “Nothing Found” “That’s odd, nothing is there.”

  10. Richard Says:

    ah, ok, i see now. But you must realize that the Biblical tie is very strong—especially when you capitalize! I would reword it. :)

    You mentioned responding to another of my comments. I’m sorry, which one was it?

    the site i referred you to with the words has no relation to your poem…sorry if there was a miscom.

  11. Richard Says:

    that’s hilarious! Well, the important content was in my comment.

  12. Stephen Tash Says:

    Well, maybe there are two Richard’s, but the comment was from a Richard who asked questions at: http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/02/02/stewart-alexander-speaks-out-against-proposed-economic-stimulus-package/

  13. Richard Says:

    ah yes… that was me—thanks!
    hey got to get back to watching Harry Potter with Japanese subtitles!

  14. BillTx Says:

    LOL WUT? Jk, great poem.

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