Tag Archives: letter

Letter clutter

In accentuated cafés and discothèques there is an occasional rôle for a more encyclopædic breadth, but, in the main, written English works with just 26 letters, and now, when text is prepared for publication, there’s seldom support for typographic ligatures. All those words – so stiffly made from so few letters – squat as if on sorting racks and monochromic grids. Possibilities of further playfulness and curlicue are ignored, forgotten or never even known.

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The initial letter

There I am, and я too, a single letter at the centre of the writing. U can be the reader. И, y and e put things together in pairs or strings, and other writers use single vowels and consonants – a, i, o, à, į, w, z, б, s, с – for basic meanings. Letters put together as acronyms and abbreviations offer to save time, but more frequently restrict common access, adopting new roles in the DNA of mystification. Some letters are at the heart of short messages, there to save space and foster ambiguity. Some letters are words, some stand in for words, and some don’t. OK?

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Start making it up

If it’s text, it’s words, put in order, in short and longer groupings. There’s always a structural mesh to the mishmash, if it’s text. In the beginning it’s not the word, but shape, symbol and letter that come together to kick off alphabets that jostle and bunch into discourse. Letters – clean or accented, with singular or diphthongal strengths – glue and glisten with soundings and consequences, strike postures in clause and sentence, build blocks of meaning and moment.