Regarding Tableware

Don't eat with your hands. Every once in a while, an eclectic blend of influences conspire to design and manufacture words that might otherwise have been discarded in favor of a more reasoned approach to communication. Influences of this sort are often mistaken for chaos; they seem geared toward subversion; they want to throw reason and logic from the train. But the creative process isn't rationalnot in the way mathematics or computer programming are rationaland it often withers when linearity is imposed.

In a similar way, the rarified atmosphere at the outer fringes of creative writing is often mistaken for a vacuum. While the oxygen-starved brain is certainly capable of producing particularly heinous prose, a vacuum almost always causes the brain to explode. Although the resulting differences in style and substance can be difficult to quantify, a simple test will quickly separate the merely brain-damaged from the brain-absent.

For the first example, I held my breath while my assistant inserted her fingertips in my nostrils to eliminate any stray air-puffs that might compromise the experiment. This resulted in only minor brain damage, as you can see from the holiday poem I executed after regaining consciousness.

iHerds of hoofed antlers on iCrusted snow
iDonner, iBlitzen, iPanzer & schnitzen
The howls of the vowels from Alphabet's shore
"Cast off!" cried the captain, "iCan't take it no more!"

For the second example, I stowed away in the starboard wingtip of the space shuttle while my assistant inserted her fingertips in my throat to eliminate any stray screams that might alert NASA to my presence. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to hold herself together in the vacuum of space, while my training allowed me to maintain my presence of mind long after it had disappeared from view.

I'm sorry, said iDolph
This "Jeff" has to go
iAye said the captain
And then he ate some beans.

As you can see, the differences are subtle, but not impossible to distinguish once you know where to look. To the layperson, the absence of quotes to indicate dialogue is probably the most glaring, while the fastidious eye will immediately note the absence of proper tableware, thus forcing the captain to eat with his hands.



  1. My two favorite bits:

    "the rarified atmosphere at the outer fringes of creative writing is often mistaken for a vacuum"

    and, of course,

    "The howls of the vowels from Alphabet's shore"

  2. Thank you. Thank you very much. I plan to work the "howls" bit into an epic (something along the lines of Ulysses) at some point, if I can stay awake that long.