Mark Dunn · 208 pages
Rating: (23.1K votes)
“Perhaps in time, Ella, the words we have lost will fade, and we will all stop summoning them by habit, only to stamp them out like unwanted toadstools when they appear. Perhaps they will eventually disappear altogether, and the accompanying halts and stammers as well: those troublesome, maddening pauses that at present invade and punctuate through caesura all manner of discourse. Trying so desperately we all are, to be ever so careful.”
“Lately, I haph startet painting my torso in pretty, motley hews. I sit in phront oph the mirror in the sleepy-room. I atmire my hantyworg. I am a hooman apstrat paining.”
“On Wednesday, July 19, the Council, having gleaned and discerned, released its official verdict: the fall of the tile bearing the letter "Z" constitutes the terrestrial manifestation of an empyrean Nollopian desire, that desire most surely being that the letter "Z" should be utterly excised--fully extirpated--absolutively heave-ho'ed from our communal vocabulary!”
“Would you mind doing this last thing for me? Pack my box with fivedozen liquor jugs?”
“Love one another, push the perimeter of this glorious language. Lastly, please show proper courtesy; open not your neighbor's mail.”
“Hundreds of words await ostracism from our functional vocabularies: waltz and fizz and squeeze and booze and frozen pizza pie, frizzy and fuzzy and dizzy and duzzy, the visualization of emphyzeema-zapped Tarzans, wheezing and sneezing, holding glazed and anodized bazookas, seized by all the bizarrities of this zany zone we call home. Dazed or zombified citizens who recognize hazardous organizations of zealots in their hazy midst, too late - too late to size down. Immobilized we iz. Minimalized. Paralyzed. Zip Zap. ZZZZZZZZZ.
Did I say crazy?”
“U" is gone. I suppose you're aware. The 1st aeiouy to go. Up until now the other graphemes were not aeiouys. When the aeiouys start to go, Ella, writing to you turns exponentially more grueling. I will not throw in the towel, though. I trust that you won't either. I truly relish our partnership.”
“We appreciate your coming to us with a copy of your letter to your sister, but it was unnecessary. Your offense was known to us even before the letter's receipt by your sister. Effective as of September 15 the primary responsibility of our isle's new assistant chief postal inspector has been to scan all post for use of illegal letters of the alphabet, then to make nightly reports to the Council. A report has been put on file on your behalf, your official sentence to be forthwith in issuance.”
“The Council is wrong. Yet, observe that none of us will risk telling it so, for fear of the consequences.”
“Instead of the calendrical terms Monday, Tuesday and so forth, we cheerfully offer the following surrogates. Use them freely and often, for their use honors us all. For Sunday, please use Sunshine. For Monday. pleasy use Monty. For Tuesday, please use Toes. For Wednesday, please use Wetty. For Thursday, please use Thurby. For Friday, please use Fribs. For Saturday, please use Satto-gatto.”
“His countenance, dear Ellakins, is no strain upon young female eyes!”
“Today we queried, questioned, and inquired. Promise me that come tomorrow, we will not stop asking why.”
“[Slipped beneath the minnow Pea front door]
Monty No-way 6
Insane woman named Ella:
Retreat is what we want. Go away. Let we alone.
“Dinosaurs are reptiles, sir," said Professor Steg. "We do not go in for milk.”
“To understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him. His was a time when Rome dominated the Western world and brooked no dissent. Human life was worth little. Life expectancy was less than forty years, and far less if you happened to anger the Roman powers that were. An excellent description of the time was written—perhaps with some bombast—by journalist Vermont Royster in 1949: There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar … what was man for but to serve Caesar? There was persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world? Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God … so the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe that salvation lay with the leaders. But it came to pass for a while in diverse places that the truth did set men free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light.”
“Life is short. You’ve got to seize the opportunities you're given. It’s not like you have a lot of them.”
“What counts, I found, is not what you cover, but what you uncover. Covering subjects in a class can be a boring exercise, and students feel it. Uncovering the laws of physics and making them see through the equations, on the other hand, demonstrates the process of discovery, with all its newness and excitement, and students love being part of it.”
“Lauren,” Kenzie managed finally as she dramatically fanned herself, and then me. “You did not just meet him last night.”
“No really,” I said when I could speak. “He kind of swept me off my feet. Literally.”
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