The most used letter in the English language is E. Ever counted the frequency of letters in a set of scrabble or literatti? People start losing when all the ‘E’s vanish. E’s are the stuff of the easiest of words, the simplest of pronouns and the commonest of usage… read shE, hE, mE….Ernest Vincent Wright’s 1939 novel Gadsby is written without the second vowel. One of the best known E-less works is Georges Perec’s French novel, La Disparition….

For some reason I find an E-less existence less than satisfactory and almost scary. Not too long ago I was wondering about the power of words. There is a sanctity to them. To every letter, every word and to the sequence that forms a clear, unambiguous meaning. What if I could not read or write? Would my perception of the world differ? Would my existence be less complete?

One thought on “Words

  1. This reminded me of a story I read in high school: ‘A table is a table’ where a lonely old man, to get rid of his boredom, starts renaming things around him, like call a ‘table’ an ‘iron’ and so forth. In his new found language, he interpreted people’s conversations and found it funny. But there came a day when he forgot the real words for each one of the articles around him and was cut-off from the entire world ‘coz he no longer understood others nor did they understand him.Words have the real power.


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