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But That's Absurd by Gordon Harrison (BA 1961)

7 August 2013

Paul is an ordinary lad who on waking up on an ordinary day, just cannot talk normally, mouthing occasional words but mostly struck dumb. A diagnosis from a top consultant informs him that his complaint is simply an inability to say out loud any word containing that most common sign in our ABC (it's found twixt "d" and "f").

Paul is an ordinary lad who on waking up on an ordinary day, just cannot talk normally, mouthing occasional words but mostly struck dumb. A diagnosis from a top consultant informs him that his complaint is simply an inability to say out loud any word containing that most common sign in our ABC (it's found twixt "d" and "f").
 
A not uncommon affliction, as Paul quickly finds out. Coping with this incapacity finds Paul going through many alarming trials and tribulations: a walkout by his girl, a hair-raising trip in a wayward bus, a liaison with a prior Russian spy, implication in purloining a vast hoard of gold, absconding abroad with journalists on his tail and finally coaching high-ranking staff in a Paris Ministry with a similar vocal handicap. A litany you should find amusing-and simply absurd, this fictitious diary is known as a "lipogram"on account of its total lack of that "sign".

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