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What's in a letter?

How do I introduce this post?  I have a feeling this peek I'm about to let you have into my mind may scare you...

The fact is, I'd written this post years ago but ended up losing the post.  Since then, I've been asked to rewrite this but hesitated for obvious reasons of avoiding looking a bit crazy. ;)...but it's now back. 

Oh dear.

Let me explain:

All my life, I've named everything: my car, my house, my camera...pretty much everything...because to me, there's something living about them.  They have personalities and even genders.  It always throws me off when I casually ask someone what they've named their car and they respond with, "Ugh...nothing?"  It's like not naming your baby.  It wasn't until I was in college that I realized not everyone sees the world like this.  I thought it was a given...

I discovered that I was alone in this when I started talking about the alphabet one night and I was getting blank stares.  I honestly thought everyone thought like this.  To me, I wasn't making it up...that's just how it is...or so I thought.

Ever since I can remember, I've looked at the letters in the alphabet and saw personalities.  It makes perfect sense in my mind...but that's not saying a lot in a case for logic. ;)  So...here is a snapshot look into how my mind works...my apologies in advance. :)

...is a good letter.  'A' knows that he's probably the most in demand letter of the alphabet.  Even the word 'alphabet' requires him to shows up on time and at the front.  'A' would have been an Eagle Scout, he'd open doors for the other letters and would've watched out for all the chubby little nerds out there like the letter B...

'B' has been chubby at every stage of life, and always finds comfort that he stands beside 'A' and can hide behind him at times.  'B' is a sweetheart, and has a raspy high-pitched voice.  It's not that he can't stand alone...he just stands tallest when surround by good solid letters he can depend on.

...is a little hard to figure out.  'C' makes it a point to keep others at a distance...he makes eye contact and smiles, but no one ever really knows what lies behind that expression.  'C' will show up at parties but will leave early as it really prefers to be at home reading Reader's Digest and solving a crossword puzzle drinking tea...and smoking a pipe when it's really been 'one of those days'.

There is no other letter that could ever replace 'D'...or so 'D' thinks.  'D' would wear a three piece suit every day if it could...and often does.  No monogram is complete without him in it.  For all 'D' is concerned, he may as well be Moses, Modonna, or Prince...no need for last names or letters.  He stands alone.  He shakes his head at the more immature letters and counts it his greatest trial and annoyance that he stands next to 'E'...

'E'...ooooOOOooohhh 'E'.  'E' is ALWYAS smiling.  ALWAYS up for a good time.  And ALWAYS creating some kind of commotion.  'E' laughs hardest at it's own jokes and loves to pull pranks on others...especially 'D'.  "It's simply not proper or right for someone to be so silly" 'D' thinks of 'E'...but 'E' could care less.  He slaps his knee when he laughs and is always jumping into words like "yippeeeeeee" and "screeeeeeeam" with all his little buddies because...well, why not when you can?!

'F' is a little older than 'E'.  They're good friends...'F' will laugh at 'E' but always shake his head.  He'll give 'E' a quite nudge when needed but, he'll also defend 'E' to the 'nth degree when needed...they're practically brothers afterall.  'F' was just like 'E' when he had three limbs so he just smiles quietly to himself at all of 'E's antics and shakes his head while holding a soft place for his chum.

Of all the letters in the alphabet, G + H are the best of friends.  Novels could be written about the beauty of this friendship...they define contentment.  They rival peanut butter and jelly, Simon and Garfunkel, and fall and bonfires in the beauty of their match.  So content are they in their friendship that they're okay remaining silent as long as they can stand together in the middle of a word.  I kind of think 'G' might be religious...maybe a methodist.  I think H might be too...he'd be a Catholic. Not sure why those denominations...just seems to be right somehow.

I looks up to J...the way a little one looks up to an older brother.  Probably because he knows that other than 'T' getting crossed, he's got a big responsibility in getting dotted.  'I' is a little timid...he waits to be spoken to...he likes to build things with his hands...he's a dreamer.  But 'I' will always let someone in line before him unless it's 'E' and ONLY because that's a general rule.  He kind of wishes it was 'E' before himself except after 'C' well, because he just does.  He doesn't like the spotlight.  He's a vowel so he's kind of used to it, but he would prefer it to be 'J' since he's pretty certain 'J' would handle that responsibility a lot better.  Whenever 'I' says things like that, 'J' just nudges him and says, "That's crazy.  Now stop talking like that and go take your spot."  J is the one that would sit in the audience of a talent show and clap loudest for 'I' because he believes in him more than 'I' believes in himself.  

Well now, there's 'K'.  He's just kind of content in life.  He knows who he is...he doesn't get used that often...he has his moments to shine, but overall, as long as he's got steady work, money in his pocket, friends by his side, and a good TV show at night with a nightcap...well, life is just pretty good for 'K'. 

'L' on the other hand is still trying to figure out who he is and his place.  He gets confused with I more than he'd like..."I am my own letter afterall" he'll vent to M, N, and O...but when he's alone...he can't blame everyone.  He really does look like a grown up I.  Ugh...if only he'd been given a unique swirl or something...anything to make him...well, just not so boring.  He takes extra notes on talks about 'just being yourself' and secretly dreams of making it big someday.

These three are friends...not quite like G and H, but good friends nonetheless.  However, O knows that if M or N ever got married, he wouldn't stand a chance at being best man...he'd probably get slot 4 in a 7 letter lineup...he says it doesn't bug him, but it does...just a little.  If they roadtripped together, M and N would get the front seat and O would provide fun and good conversation from the back, but when he'd fall asleep, he'd know that's when M and N would get into the "good conversation".  Sometimes he fake sleeps and listens really hard...not because he even cares what they're talking about...but he'd just like to prove that point to himself. 

These four letters are group together because if the alphabet would have a redhat society (a group that has always confused me to be honest), it would be 'PQRS'.  They have all the latest gossip on all the other letters...they dissaprove easily and are known for making passive agressive comments. They start many a sentence with "Back in my day..." end them with, "...but bless their little heart".  It's best not to argue with PQRS...not because you'll lose, but because all the other letters would know about it before you could blink.

'S' and 'T' have somewhat of drama filled relationship.  It's always asked by PQ and R how "things are going with 'T'"?  They're always telling 'S' that she just needs to move on...goodness knows, there are better letters out there that would make you feel and be treated like the letter you are!!  But somehow, S and T always end up by each other and just one word with 'T' and 'S' can't remember what the troubles were.  It's not that 'T' is a jerk...it's just focused and has a lot of words to be a part of...and it just doesn't have time to be worrying about silly things like relationships right now.

'U' is an observer.  It likes to study letters and figure out why they behave and sound as they do.  'U' doesn't let on but it pretty much has all the other letters pegged and what makes them tick...it's got opinions on them all but for the most part, will keep them to itself.

For some reason, 'V' intimidates a lot of letters...he's not sure why, and his good friends like 'U' and 'W' always tell 'V' they can't figure it out.  However, whenever 'V' is absent, 'U' and 'W' drop comments here and there as to how they can actually see how 'V' could come off a certain way if you didn't really know him...but then quickly qualify their statements because truth be told, they're a little intimidated by him as well.

'W' is generally a very classy letter...it adds value to a word or brand when 'W' stands in it.  He takes up a lot of room, but is usually worth the space it occupies because of the credibility it brings.  'W' is somewhat quiet but confident...it's secure in it's place and the role it plays.  However, if it were to be completely honest, it bugs it that it's name is "Double-U. 2 x U = W...I mean, really?"...he thinks. "You think they would have given me more credit than that."...but he just thinks it...he'd never say it.

'XY'n'Z' wear a lot of wool plaid and patches on their respected elbows.  They talk about the good ol' days and never feel like things are ever quite as they used to be.  They sit at the back of the alphabet and speculate on the youth of the lineup...how much they have to learn, and "Why, if they'd just ask me, I'd say..." They like to listen to jazz and puff on cigars and every story somehow how seems to be in reference to their youth that they are certain was lived better and harder than the dues being paid these days.  They like to grumble about the politics of it all and how the vowels carry too much clout for the little they do for the English language.

And there you have it...the English Alphabet as seen through my eyes.  And if you're completely confused, don't worry...it probably means you're normal. :)


heidi said...

NOT confused and ALWAYS have thought this about the alphabet too. I actually agree with almost every letter you have! So funny...something in our subconscious maybe...or in the way we were raised...or water we drank...haha. But you explained them A LOT better than I would've. :)

Fun post!!

Rebekah said...

Tam, like Heidi, I totally agree that the letters have personalities!! I'm so glad you rewrote this!! I always wished we could find the old one! This is so funny and well-written it could go viral! You'll probably end up on Ellen or something haha!!

Kristi said...

First, I absolutely love reading your blog posts, and I'm so glad you are back.

Second, this post makes me feel like when I was little girl. I used to get jealous when people had a"thing." For example, my brother had a blankie that he carried everywhere, it was ragged and I thought it was so cool. So I carried a blankie. Of course I picked a huge one that was impossible to carry and I left it everywhere, so it didn't really work, but that's how I feel right now about naming thing and your alphabet. Jealous.

leah said...

I have heard about this for so long, I'm so glad you recreates it! I will never think of the letters the same! :-) you are too cute!

Jessica said...

I've never thought of the letters in this way...BUT I do give letters genders. And I did spell my last name wrong in kindergarten (R-o-b-n-i-s-o-n) because, I thought I was a boy and being a gentleman, he let "n" go first! :)

Rachel said...

Loved reading this. It's so funny, because I have told Cindy before that I have genders for all of the letters and numbers and she thinks it's so funny/weird. So, she's going to have to read this. Makes me feel better to know that yours have full blown personalities. :) haha

alisonsutter said...

I'm so glad you rewrote this too!! This may be one of my favorite things about you. And I second kristi...I'm a little jealous that I don't think about the letters like this.

Brooke said...

This is fabulous! I haven't thought of letters in this way, but I started giving numbers personalities after doing sudoku puzzles. The mind works in mysterious ways - and your able to view things in a way most can't.

sam said...

You need to read up on Synesthesia, specifically the "Personification" form. It should sound familiar :)

I have the spatial sequence/number form and was SHOCKED when as an adult I found out not everyone thinks of numbers that way.

Pam said...

This is hilarious - and the most funny thing is that Rebekah and Heidi both see the letters the same way! I love it!

Jolynn said...

This was great Tami! Too cute and I agree that it could go viral. How does that happen by the way? I don't get it. Anyway, what a great post!

megs @ whadusay said...

Love this! You are hilarious! But not alone. A blogger I read (Emily at Chatting at the Sky) has a similar thing where she associates words with colors, like your name might be blue to her. There is a name for this kind of thinking, but I can't remember it right now. I am glad you shared. :)

megs @ whadusay said...

And when I say you are hilarious, I mean that in a VERY good way. :)

Marla said...

O I C U R FUN E! Other than that, I am speechless, but laughing!

Christen Leigh said...

Haha this is awesome. I have always given letters genders, but I never thought to this depth. :)

smw said...

you are so funny. :) it somehow warms my heart that all three of you think this way about letters. it has never crossed my mind. and i love you all the more for it. :)

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