Posted by: dave | October 13, 2011

Without E

Doing without ‘p’ is hard, but writing is particularly tough if you can’t fall back on our font’s most popular symbol. It’s a trick which ‘La Disparition’ pulls off, but not a thing I could sustain across any significant gap. Too many words contain that symbol, and you quickly run out of ways to twist your diction into familiar forms without using a contraband glyph.

You can’t talk about things past, as most ‘past’ words contain a standard suffix with that symbol; our most common word is also out of bounds–that most particular kin of ‘a’; on top of that, using pronouns is full of pitfalls.

That said, I think this would work as a parlour activity to maintain a sharp mind, and I’m struck that it’s not popular, away from that solitary book. As a sort of brain gym, it suits comparison with doing crosswords: you must show a broad vocabulary, plus agility in positioning words and adjusting your gist, if you want to carry it off. A list of synonyms (I can’t put its usual tag) would aid this task; but it’s a fun and satisfying distraction to do it without any support. Still, this is similar to wading through syrup if your writing is usually quick, and I think for now that 200 words is inough.



  1. Cool man; difficult, but cool. Kudos to you, although you occasionally slip into odd diction – ‘font’s most popular symbol’ is a bit awkward, no? OK I’ll stop now, ha ha.

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