Archive for May 2021

Dumping the Apple Cart   8 comments

May 31, 2021 Plot twists…do you have a favorite you can talk about (yours or someone else’s?)

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”0dba61a11c0746bdbae6fa1bf6dc15ec” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/0dba61a11c0746bdbae6fa1bf6dc15ec” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>Wordpress shortcode[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”0dba61a11c0746bdbae6fa1bf6dc15ec”] Unique url for your link partyhttps://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/0dba61a11c0746bdbae6fa1bf6dc15ec

plot_twist_ideas_and_prompts_for_writers_robert_lee_brewer

I’m an apocalyptic writer who ends most books of my series with a cliffhanging potential plot twist. I tease a change of direction, a narrative pivot, or some information revealed. Plot twists, like life’s course changes, make life more entertaining.

You usually see plot twists — a surprise change of direction or reset of reality — in books (or movies). It mimics life. Very few of us go through our lives from Point A to Point Z without a hitch. We start out planning our lives when we were six and then about age 8 we realized that nobody actually becomes a Fairy Princess, but occasionally we start out as an actress and then we meet the Prince of Monaco and we do actually become a Princess — and discover that life isn’t easy even in that station of society.

Plot twists!

Favorites

My very first “plot twist” was in the second book I ever read for myself- My Friend Flicka. The character thinks his beloved filly is dead and he goes through a long illness where he mourns her. But in the end, his father takes him for a drive and he learns Flicka is alive and thriving.

Plot twists are the backbone of mystery stories. We all have one we love. Mine is the ending of Murder on the Orient Express. I first read the book I was perhaps 14 and I really didn’t see it coming. Those are my favorite plot twists — the ones I don’t see coming. I usually do. My husband insists I keep it to myself when I solve the mystery in a movie. Several years ago (when VCRs were new) we used to regularly watch movies with friends and my ability to figure it out early fascinated one of them so much that he required I write my theories down when they came to me. We’d reveal it when the movie was over. I’d usually figured it out halfway through. My husband finds that fascinating, so we still continue the practice. The good news is figuring it out early doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of the story for me. It’s part of the fun for me.

Which is not to say I don’t enjoy movies and books that keep me guessing. It just doesn’t happen very often. The 1985 movie Jagged Edge kept me guessing until the last five minutes of the story. I didn’t figure out The Sixth Sense until about three-quarters of the way through (the last time he interacts with his wife). When George RR Martin killed Eddard Stark — the up-to-that-point presumed main character of The Song of Ice and Fire — at the end of Game of Thrones, I was shocked and became a fan because I didn’t expect that to happen.

What About My Own?

Let’s start with my first one. In writing my debut novel The Willow Branch, I set Prince Maryn up as the principle character of the first chapter — and then I killed him. It wasn’t actually a deliberate choice. I started writing Prince Maryn as the main character of that timeline. Such a likeable, honorable character. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that scene. He just didn’t work after that first scene. Every time I’d sit down to write him, it was a battle. He wasn’t telling me his story (which is how I write). I struggled and plotted a few scenes. I’m a discovery writer. I don’t plot, though I often have an idea of where the story is going. I finally gave it up. His friend Deryk expressed a lot of grief in telling his story and I finally accepted that Prince Maryn died at the end of the first scene and that the past timeline of Daermad Cycle would focus on an ensemble cast not singular characters. And, then the story started to unfold and I was able to write it. I learned a valuable lesson. Don’t get too attached to any one character or plot line. Literature, like life, happens in the alleyways.

Of course, my apocalyptic series is full of plot twists. Some are necessary – Shane was going to rest in Emmaus for a while and then go back to being a mercenary — probably — but the world as he knew it ended, so now he’s living an exciting life in the small town that bored the snot of him as a kid. But then I throw in simple quirks in the road. He trips at the end of Life As We Knew It and that puts him in a safer place than City Hall two days later. My son just finished reading A Death in Jericho (Book 7 of the series) and we had a lovely discussion of how the plot twist of Shane injuring himself in Winter’s Reckoning (Book 6) allowed a plot twist of making Cai the main character in the next book which put him in the center of the deadly situation at the end of A Death in Jericho. That was not a plot twist for me. I knew Cai would face what he does at some point back when I was writing Objects in View (Book 2). I held it until the right time. Poor Cai. I’m so mean to him and he so doesn’t deserve it. Unlike his brother, who has some significant blood on his hands, Cai is a legitimately nice, though sometimes flawed, guy who doesn’t deserve to live through the apocalypse. Ooops — might that be a hint given my penchant for killing characters? Maybe. Both Rob and Jacob were younger sons who ended up carrying on the Delaney family legacy because of the deaths of their older brothers. Point is — I’m not telling.

But what about Mike? Kiernan figured Mike was dead of the flu in Santa Fe back during Gathering In and he never expected him to show up for his baby’s birth. Shane sees things that aren’t there because of the PTSD, so is Mike real or a figment of Shane’s exhausted imagination? Well, you’ll have to wait for “Worm Moon” to find out.

That’s what I like about plot twists. They keep you guessing — just like real life.

In a less speculative setting, I’ve done the same thing to Peter in What If Wasn’t series. I set him up as having a great life with some complications but he’s got friends and a tight relationship with his sister and at the end of Red Kryptonite Curve, he’s facing some tough times alone. Because it’s a YA, I ended that book on a hopeful note, but in Dumpster Fire, since it’s a New Adult, I ended it with his sister dying in his arms, which is a major plot twist. There will be a third book (Pocketful of Rocks) and I’m not telling the future.

Variety and Change are Spicy

Plot twists are the spice of writing. They throw things into a turmoil and make the reader reevaluate where the plot is headed — or sometimes who a familiar character might actually be. I like them in my apocalyptic because in that genre nothing is certain, but they have their place in almost any genre. Consider a romance and what we think we know about each other in a couple relationship. What if we find out our partner isn’t completely who he says he is? Tension drives narrative and viola — you’ve introduced conflict and something to overcome. Although I’ve met a few readers who don’t like surprises, most of the time, plot twists will keep them reading — so long as they’re not done capriciously. They should always be done thoughtfully. It’s okay to dump the apple cart, but as writers, we’re obligated to assure there are apples in the cart before we do it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Posted May 31, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Open Book Blog Hop – 24th May   1 comment

Stevie Turner

Welcome to this week’s blog hop. Today’s topic is:

What historical/public figure would you most like to learn more about? Would you ever write about them?

The person I’d really like to learn more about is the very private Joan Armatrading, who never gives interviews. She says “It’s all about the music, and nobody needs to know anything about me“. However, she’s wrong, and I’m sure there are many others out there apart from me who also love her music and would like to know more about her. So… if you ever read this, Joan, I’ll be happy to write a book about you but you need to grant me an interview first!

My own photo of Joan at the Isle of Wight Festival, June 2012.

While I’m waiting for Joan to get in touch, next on my list would be learn more about Oscar Wilde, the tragic Irish…

View original post 491 more words

Posted May 25, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Meeting History and Music   Leave a comment

PJ MacLayne’s Blog Hop Post

Posted May 25, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

A blast from the past, revisited.   Leave a comment

Richard Dee’s Blog Hop Article

Posted May 24, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – Pleased to Meet You!   Leave a comment

Steven Smith’s Blog Hop Article.

Posted May 24, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

We Didn’t Consent, We Won’t Comply   13 comments

What historical/public figure would you most like to learn more about? Would you ever write about them?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”06c60832f2634d28bf6e0663ef116b95″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/06c60832f2634d28bf6e0663ef116b95” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20rel=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>Wordpress shortcode[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”06c60832f2634d28bf6e0663ef116b95″]Unique URLhttps://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/06c60832f2634d28bf6e0663ef116b95

Hard One

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God, Benjamin Franklin

History is replete with figures I’d love to know better. They lived interesting lives. They made pivotal decisions, They wrote thought-provoking philosophy. Or they just lived lives that mattered more than other people’s. My modern life would be enriched by getting to know them.

So it wasn’t hard for me to come up with a historical figure I’d like to learn more about. The problem is winnowing the list down to one.

Modern Public Figures

I can’t think of any modern public official I’d like to meet. I’m just not interested in learning about petty tyrants. Well, maybe a group gathering of the Freedom Caucus, but I’d want to remove their filters and find out what they REALLY think of the ongoing insanity of Congress these days. I have no real use for politicians in today’s world. They act like they’re relevant, but they’re helping to enslave us all ($28 trillion in debt) and so I’m not sure getting to know them any better would enrich my life. (I have already met all three members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation. Lisa Murkowski is useless — my daughter was 11 when she asked her a question about education and she flubbed the answer so badly even an 11-year-old could counter her argument and make her look stupid. Dan Sullivan is from Ohio. His wife is from Alaska. That’s not a qualification for representing Alaska, although he does a lovely job of representing Ohio. Don Young is still a wonderful curmudgeonly Alaskan character and I love that he’s decided to spend his last few years remaining to him stirring up trouble — calling Nancy Pelosi out as a divider who wouldn’t recognize unity if it ate her expensive ice cream and introducing bills decriminalizing cannibas nationwide is something only an Alaskan politician in their 80s can get away with. I’ll be sorry to see him go, but it’s important to get someone in there who will represent Alaska before we have the wrong governor in office when Don dies).

Well, maybe, if I had to choose someone in the politician category, I’d like to meet Tulsi Gabbard and sit down for a lengthy conversation. I’d want to invite along some friends who know Austrian economics better than I do to help enlighten her on economic realities. I feel like she’s one of the few politicians who is still malleable enough to listen to people and represent them rather than herself and whoever pays for her campaign. And I think that’s going to be of vital importance as we approach a coming (and I believe, unfortunately inevitable), national crisis caused by federal government overspending. Whether we survive as a nation or not will depend on the necessary understanding of economics not just of would-be leaders, but ordinary Americans.

I’m not interested in meeting celebrities either. Yeah, you acted the snot out of that role, but being an expert musician/actor/comic doesn’t mean you know zip about anything else, so why would I want to sit down with any of these vapid attention whores? The other day, I did feel like I’d like to sit down with Prince Harry and explain to him why he’s an idiot and utterly “bonkers” and should probably not speak in public again, at least until he goes back to live in England, where perhaps people appreciate royal stupidity more (and, no, I’m not saying Britishers are stupid, but that they seem to understand and appreciate the venality of their royals more than Americans). And, while I would relish that conversation with Harry, I’m not convinced he’d grow any brighter by the encounter because I seriously doubt he’s smart enough to learn from thinking humans. Like many generationally-wealthy people, he hasn’t needed to use his brain and I’m afraid you just can’t make that up after about age 18.

Of course, not all modern public figures are politicians. Some are former politicians, others have the good sense to do something worthwhile. I can imagine sitting down with Thomas Sowell and having a conversation about economics and history and how they impact current culture. I’m sorry I missed meeting Walter E. Williams who passed away a few months ago. Jordan Peterson and/or Brett Weinstein would be a worthy evening’s time. I think I’d walk away smarter by the encounters.

It’s really sad that out of 7 billion people, I can’t think of but a handful of modern public figures I really want to know better. We live in an age of banality and, while there are a few bright people who break out from the otherwise mediocre crowd, I fear for a society that have so few thinking individuals. We have a lot of opinion-influencers and so few thinkers and I’m convinced that we are the poorer as a society for having nonthinkers influencing public opinion.

Historical Figures Galore

Well, the obvious answer would be Jesus, but since He lives in my heart, I think I already have the capacity to know Him better than I know anyone other than myself…if I would just take the opportunities offered to me, which I so often don’t.

I admit, I’d love to sit down with Paul of Tarsus because he wrote so much of the Bible and I suspect it would be a brilliant conversation. I feel the same about Thomas Jefferson. The fact is if I spent only a day getting to know each historical figure I’d like to get to know better, I wouldn’t have enough time to finish my list–assuming I’m two-thirds to three-quarters through my natural lifespan.

Narrowing It Down

So for the purposes of this article, I decided to choose one. So hard!

You have been pleased to send unto us a certain prohibition or command that we should not receive or entertain any of those people called Quakers because they are supposed to be, by some, seducers of the people. For our part we cannot condemn them in this case, neither can we stretch out our hands against them…We desire therefore in this case not to judge lest we be judged, neither to condemn lest we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. We are bound by the law to do good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith.

As the town clerk of what is now the Queens neighborhood of Flushing, New York, Edward Hart wrote a powerful 650-word document known as the Flushing Remonstrance. December 27, 1657. Hart wrote on behalf of the 30 inhabitants of the village who also boldly signed their names below his, in a defiant shot across the bow of the state, personified by Governor Stuyvesant. The act of resistance became an early declaration in favor of the freedom of peaceful worship, supporting a defense of freedom of others — none of the Flushing residents were Quakers so they could have ignored the oppression altogether, but they chose to involve themselves because the governor of their colony was a hamflower deserving of remonstrance.

Governor Stuyvesant promulgated a policy of intolerance in the Dutch settlements of New York, persecuting those who did not adhere to the Dutch Reformed Church, primarily targeting nonconformist Quakers. Governor Stuyvesant’s policy of persecution began in 1656 with an ordinance banning unauthorized religious meetings, causing Quaker preachers to be harassed, arrested, jailed, and fined.

Stuyvesant reacted to the Remonstrance in anger. Determined to quash the spirit of the Remonstrance, he dissolved Flushing’s town government and put his own cronies in charge. He arrested four of the signers of the Remonstrance, including Edward Hart. To his credit, the elderly Hart went to jail but never recanted.

Relief from Stuyvesant’s harsh rule finally arrived in 1663, but not by the hand of any government. The Dutch West India Company, sponsor and investor in the Dutch colonies of North America, dispatched a letter to Stuyvesant ordering him to stop religious persecution. Thomas Jefferson reveled in the spirit of the Flushing-inspired motto, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God”. He inserted it on his personal seal. 

And, yes, I would enjoy writing about Edward Hart and the members of the tiny village of Flushing who had the chutzpah to play chicken with a colonial government. Those are my favorite kind of characters. In fact, this battle has inspired a future conflict in Transformation Project.

Daily Living Record   3 comments

Dear Diary. Write a diary entry or a letter from your character’s point of view.

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”43078945cccd40298fe66587c997f39e” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/43078945cccd40298fe66587c997f39e” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”><script async=”true” src=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js…“></script></span><!– end InLinkz code –>Wordpress Shortcode[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”43078945cccd40298fe66587c997f39e”]Unique URLhttps://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/43078945cccd40298fe66587c997f39e

Set Up

For my diary entry, I chose Lily from Dumpster Fire, which is the 2nd book in What If Wasn’t, my Young Adult series. The events of the book just culminated and she’s trying to pull herself together after seeing her best friend die in her boyfriend’s arms.

Dear Diary,

Alyse is dead. I still can’t believe I’m writing that. I needed to see the ink on the page to begin to believe it’s true. Alyse is dead. Alyse is dead. Alyse is dead.

Yeah, it’s not like a magic incantation where if you write it enough, it becomes true. If I wrote “Alyse is not dead” three times, it would also not come true. They laid her in a grave today. Her life ended and ours keep going forward.

Wow, I wrote that two hours ago. I’ve cried a bucket since and slept. My head hurts. And Alyse is still dead. Peter’s not. As far as I can tell, he didn’t have a mark on him. On his exterior, anyway. His eyes — there was nothing behind them as they led him off the boat. I should care. He was my boyfriend. I don’t and that’s all on him. He aimed the boat at us — at Ben and me — and Alyse died. And Trevor — critical condition. Peter and his date walked away without a scratch. Well, she got wet and Peter — his sister died in his arms and it was all his fault. His scars will be on the inside where nobody can see them.

Maybe that’s right. He won’t be able to get sympathy for scars nobody can see. All anyone will know of him is that he’s a killer – charged with manslaughter. He slaughtered a girl, but they don’t take off points for that. They just don’t have a term for it. Manslaughter will follow him the rest of his life, carrying that dead body around with him.

Could Ben and I have stopped him? Not by the time we saw the boat, but Ben said Peter called him and asked for help and Ben was busy. That’s not an excuse. He didn’t have to drink and drive. Dad says it’s still vehicular homicide if it’s a boat. He learned nothing. He learned nothing. He learned nothing. He said he did, but

Was he lying? I knew Alyse lied all the time. Seems like my friendship with her was as much illusion as fact. But Peter always seemed to tell the truth until the night at Trevor’s party. I’ve spent the summer surrounded by liars. Ben’s been the only one honest and now he doesn’t want to see me. We’ll forever remind each other of Alyse dying in Peter’s arms. Dad says I’m being melodramatic, but he wasn’t there. They don’t know what it was like to watch Alyse die right before my eyes. and to know it was my fault — that Ben and I could have stopped it. And, yet the one person who would understand is the last person I want to see.

Posted May 17, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Information Rich   13 comments

Inspired by a comment on a recent post.

Discuss: It never fails to amaze me that ALL the books ever written are made up of just twenty six letters.

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”d2fe7b5a64dd45ee99c2b6e275b9de74″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/d2fe7b5a64dd45ee99c2b6e275b9de74” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>Wordpress Shortcode[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”d2fe7b5a64dd45ee99c2b6e275b9de74″]Unique URLhttps://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/d2fe7b5a64dd45ee99c2b6e275b9de74

Teaching The Alphabet With Visual Sorting | Steps 2 Read

Information Density in Simplistic Form

The English alphabet is made up for just 26 letters that represent 45 sounds and a couple of letters we hardly use at all. Yet, a world of literature fills billions of books with very intricate stories written in myriad ways. How does it work that we can take such a basic system of communication and use it in such complex ways?

That is amazing to consider, but then I remember that the genome encodes billions of genes and can be represented by just four letters.

Consider math. It really consists of 10 symbols – 0-9 — and then repetition and recombination of those 9 symbols to create highly complex numbers.

Computer programing at its base relies on just two symbols – 1 and 0 — similarly combined in complex sequences to encoding information.

Information can be dense without requiring complicated symbolic systems.

Twenty-Six Letters with Myriad Uses

Of course, the 26 letters of the Eurocentric alphabet correlates — sort of — with the 45 sounds we make when we talk. Different languages, however, use the different letters in a myriad of ways. D in English is not pronounced exactly the same way as D in Spanish. If you speak both languages, you have a code-switch to correctly pronounce the words you read. Consider that the Hawaiian language uses just 12 of our letters to convey a lot of information. Their place names, for example, actually mean something. Conversely, Native American languages require extra symbols to stress the various ways speakers intonate the sounds, which can change the meaning of a sentence or a word. Both Athabaskans and Inupiats use far more “q” sounds in their language and while you’ll notice that if you read a page of text, when they speak, you hear a lot of sounds that are deep in the back of the throat, so it’s not really a “q”, but it’s what the translators are left with within the constraints of written English’s 26 letters.

Why Only 26?

English used to have a few other letters in its alphabet and some of them kind of make sense. I used to be a volunteer at our former church’s English & Citizenship school, responsible for teaching thousands of foreign-born folks to speak and read the English language and I can tell you that how English-speakers use the Roman alphabet can be confusing to people who speak other languages … and precision young English-speakers who are trying to learn to read for the first time.

Thorn: þ
This letter — which was pronounced “th” as in “them”. Although we combine t and h to make that sound, my son (who was a very precise human until his teen years) struggled with that combination. He couldn’t understand why the hard T got softened when combined with the “h”. He wanted me or one of his teachers to explain it. He wasn’t happy with the answer of “it just is that way.” Sometime in junior high school, he gave up the question, but when I shared this article with him while I was writing it, he remembered.

“I knew it! English can be so dumb!” He’d like us to start using this symbol immediately.

Wynn: ƿ
The Latin alphabet we use didn’t offer a letter with the “wah” sound popular to English speakers. Wynn filled the void, but not for long. Over time, it became popular to stick two double-“U’s” side-by-side to create the sound of wynn. Think “vacuum” and “continuum”. I don’t find the double-u to not make sense. Also, it looked like a “p” which would be confusing.

Yogh: Ȝ
The yogh sound entered during the Middle English to represent the back-of-the-throat “ch” sound (think: Bach). It disappeared thanks to the French printing presses, which decided to replace yogh with “gh.” It looks like a 3, so that would be confusing, but frankly, I would love to have a letter that represents that sound because “gh” creates guesswork for pronunciation. This is a similar problem to my Inupiat friends who have a similar (but more complex) back-of-the-throat sound that is rendered as a “q”, but isn’t really. Maybe we need another symbol that doesn’t look like a 3, but denotes sounds in the back of our throat. I had a friend in high school whose last name was “Back.” His father was descended from one of Johann Sabastian’s grandsons who migrated to the United States. So of course the question came up how the name morphed. Well, 1st generation Bach didn’t read English and someone had to write his name into the entry book. The name Bach ends with a back of the throat gutteral sound and the clerk probably didn’t know how to spell it, so he wrote it how it sounded — hence “Back”.

Ash: ӕ
You’ve seen it in medieval (when spelled mediaeval) or in aeon and aether. This is an example of Roman ligature, meaning the tying together of two letters, in this case “a” and “e.” Though it was dropped as a letter from English, it remains one in Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic. We do sometimes see words in English spelled with “ae”. This was another reading stumble for my son. Mr. Precision wanted to use the two distinct sounds. He would have loved the single combined letter that told him to blend the sound.

Ethel: œ
Another Latin ligature, this is the combination of “o” and “e” that can be seen in words like “foetus” and “subpoena.” Now in most cases, we replace this letter with an e. It maybe made sense in past times, but today, we doesn’t pronounce the “oe” sound, so it’s not necessary.

Ampersand: &
The ampersand was once considered part of the alphabet. In fact, that’s how it got its name. The end of the alphabet was “x, y, z and, per se, and.” Per se means “in itself, and,” meaning the symbol stands in for “and.” That became am-per-sand.

I think we could add two to four letters to the English alphabet to improve our rendering of how we pronounce some words to a better written equivalent. But the system we have right now works pretty well…most of the time.

Complexity Made Simple

Twenty-six letters to write millions of words filling billions of books. And here we are. We all pretty much understand one another because we have agreed on such a simple system that roughly correlates with how we speak the language. Who came up with it? It’s a product of the brilliance of spontaneous generation tumbled in the hands of millions of people, then polished by William Chester Minor and Daniel Webster who needed to make some decisions on standardization in order to produce the first dictionaries. Eventually we came to what works best for us. It’s possible it will change over time — just as my Inupiat friends have coopted “q” for that throat-clearing raven-clucking sound that characterizes their language. Because as an English-speaker who has tried to learn some of their language, I can attest it’s not a “q” and my Inupiat friends deserve a letter to use for that purpose. My son would vote for symbols for “th” sounds and “ae”.

Time will tell.

Pets & Animals   Leave a comment

PJMacLayne’s blog hop article 5.3.21

Posted May 3, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Fur & Feathers   Leave a comment

Richard Dee’s blog hop 5.3.21

Posted May 3, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

The Libertarian Ideal

Voice, Exit and Post-Libertarianism

CRAIN'S COMMENTS

Social trends, economics, health and other depressing topics!

My Corner

Showcasing My Writing and Me

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Steven Smith

The website of an aspiring author

thebibliophagist

a voracious reader. | a book blogger.

cupidcupid999

adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff

Republic-MainStreet

The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street

%d bloggers like this: