Brevity and the beast

It was too late by the time they diagnosed me. I never saw it coming; I did not even notice the symptoms.

I guess I first began losing my words a couple of years ago. The big ones were the first to go. Sometimes they disappeared from the tip of my tongue, never to return again. It seemed to be happening to everyone around me, but of course no one realized it. That is, until a famous writer was trolled for using the brief but eloquent word ‘BRB’ in the middle of a live chat. Investigations were carried out, revealing that this was indeed a serious problem that was spreading through the masses like a raging wildfire.

Word Loss Disorder. That was the official name given to this widespread phenomenon. It is now simply called the WLD, since patients at a more advanced stage of the disorder were unable to remember all three words in a continuous string.

The doctors told me I am currently at stage two, and fast progressing to stage three. I hear that people at stage four only communicate through emoticons, gifs, memes and the occasional ‘LOL’. They also post pictures that speak a thousand words each.

Rumoured to have begun with a virus inserted into a popular social media network, WLD sparked off a series of controversies and protest marches. While the writer / journalist / lawyer type people were severely agitated and demanded a cure, teenagers began marching in streets with slogans that declared ‘Brevity is the new slang’ or ‘We don’t need big words, we ain’t a bunch of nerds.’ Apparently, the power to rhyme was untouched by the disorder.

Eventually, WLD claimed almost everyone as its wordless victims. The internet is now bursting with a new language that contains abbreviations which are easier to retain than the shades and nuances of the beastly English language. I still have occasional urges to write a full-length article instead of a tweet, or an entire paragraph instead of a quote for Instagram. But they told me this was only natural, and even established writers all over the globe have already started to adapt to short forms.

I am now trying to memorize the new slang before I lose all my words, lest I end up flailing my arms and making mute sounds while trying to communicate with another human. I can almost picture my English professor weeping in his grave at the victory of… ah, I had the word right here – it begins with a ‘col’, and I’m pretty sure there’s a ‘q’ in there – colloquialism, yes that’s it – at the victory of colloquialism.

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Character sketches

I’ve come up with a man. I mean a plan. To write about my man. Or to write about my need for a man. Or to write about weird men. And women.

Maybe I’ll just write. I could title it ‘Nonsense.’ Here goes Character Sketch #1. (Cuz I can’t sketch.)


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I somehow managed to come up with this. (Click on pic to check out this cool guy when you can)

The first time I laid eyes on Pandu, I was reminded of a really tall, lanky frog. He had bulging eyes and wore round specs. We met at a free seminar on beetles by some renowned entomologist. Pandu sat on the seat next to me and snored loudly. Although it was quite entertaining, after a while I poked him hard in the ribs. He jumped, looked at me, then grinned, winked, rolled his eyes and stuck out his tongue, all at the same time. One could see he was quite mad, and I got the sense we would get along just fine.

During break time, I gobbled up 3 sandwiches and was gathering up my bag as I swallowed the last bite, when he appeared at my side, an entire foot taller than me, not counting the crop of curly hair sitting atop his head. I opened my mouth to make up an excuse about having to dash somewhere, when a tomato slice popped out. Solemnly he caught the tomato, and plunked it back into my mouth. Wordlessly he proceeds to sling my bag over his shoulders, and lead me out the door.

Turns out, he had attended the seminar thinking it was on the Volkswagen species (he has a mad fascination for cars). But I thought it was an honest mistake, could happen to anybody.

Pandu didn’t talk much, but when he did, the words came out a little slurred, especially around the ‘R’s, like he was always a little drunk. He cracked dumb jokes, and sometimes whole minutes went by before he realized you aren’t laughing with him. He liked his peace time, and was easily accused of having attitude and being rude. But most often than not, here was a goofy person who was bound to make you laugh.

He really was a crazy one, and yet oddly talented without even trying. He was also a magician of sorts. He would clap on, clap off, like Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty, and the lights would come on. He could moonwalk and break dance like he was Michael freaking Jackson, and sometimes it was like he had no bones. He could eat with his hands tied behind his back. He’d look at the food, and a long tongue would shoot out and gobble up the food.

His hair was altogether a magician’s mystery. Few people have dared to put their hand in his hair, not knowing what to expect. Things camped in there, and I have pulled out lice, rabbits, and pigeons from in there. One day I even got my hand stuck, we had to call emergency to get my hand un-entangled.

Fascinating creature, Pandu.