Monday, December 19, 2016

Decisions, decisions (and then we're through)

According to Wikipedia, Anguish Languish is "an ersatz language constructed from English language words, created by Howard L. Chace, who collected his stories and poems in the book Anguish Languish (Prentice-Hall, 1956)." It is not really a language at all, but rather "a homophonic transformation created as a work of humor."

For example, this sentence:

Moral: Under no circumstances should little girls stop to talk with strangers.

might be written in Anguish Languish as:

Mural: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers.

In fact, the aforementioned Mr. Chace did that very thing at the end of his story "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" (a rewrite of "Little Red Riding Hood" in Anguish Languish).

Chace once said that "the chief raison d'être [of Anguish Languish] is to demonstrate the marvelous versatility of a language in which almost anything can, if necessary, be made to mean something else."

Lest you think it's a piece of cake, I assure you it isn't. It's harder than you think to write stuff in Anguish Languish. For example, when I was creating "Blew Chrimma" a few posts back I had much difficulty deciding between several possibilities to represent the line "decorations of red on a green Christmas tree":

Which one of the following do you prefer?

1. Dick orations a bread tonne agreed Chrimma stray
2. Gecko ration sub bred done aggrieved Chrimma's three
3. Darker Russians sub bread dawn egg grain Chrimma's tray
4. Dicker ashen shove rid honor grebe chemistry
5. Some mixture of the above (show example).
6. Some invention of your own (show example)

Vote in the comments for the one you like best.


  1. I prefer number 2. Gecko rations struck my funny bone.

  2. How could I possibly compete with your offerings Bob? Clearly, you are an advanced practitioner and scholar in the lofty hills of Anguish Languish. In fact, I am surprised that one of the Ivy League universities have not snapped you up as a visiting professor.

  3. Emma, glad to be of assistance.

    Yorkshire Pudding, I'm sure you are an advanced practitioner too. You're just being modest. Ivy League universities usually do not come looking in North Georgia for professors, visiting or otherwise.