Volume 11, Issue 3, page 14

18 3/4" in circumference,
outside black, pierced by a
series of vertical slots, 10
in number, each slot 4" high
by 3/8" wide. There will be
114" between each slot. Height
of cylinder is 6 3/4" (immaterial). Place on a 78 R.P.M.
phono. turntable. Suspend a
100-watt bulb in the cylinder.
Turn on and view with eyes
closed as close to slots as
possible. " - -Mark McDonald,
Fort Scott, las.
VE GOT your current rag
here, and I' m looking at
the article by Jack Felts. And
as I read it I get a deep sense
of frustration about communication. I am tempted to answer
the comments, but it requires
a bit of certainty about why
the confusion.
"I suspect the author resents the speed of change in
the modern world. Some 10 years
ago I went back to the part of
the country in which I was
raised. I got quite lost coming back from New York city to
the small suburb where my father used to, and still does
live. All the roads were different. The little two-lane
roads leading into New York
had become six- and eightlane concrete roads, and instead of meandering along them
at 40 miles an hour, the traffic sails along at 50 and 60,
in such a way that if you miss
a turn you are 30 miles beyond
your destination before you
can straighten out. Now, these
old roads were good roads in
their time, but they would not
serve the needs of modern
"With language there is a
more complex problem. And with
communication of which language is just one aspect, it
is even more complicated. Not
only does the language change,
but the things about which language communicates, change at
a rate which beggars language
to keep up with them. Let's
sit down and discuss the technical terms of medicine, electronics, and chemistry.
"But eternal values are another problem. How do you communicate eternal values against
a changing background of languagg, experience, and material 'things? This problem has
been tackled by some of the
best minds of the ages, and
the various bibles and religious organization, are some
of the answers. One man trained
a dozen students personally by
means of demonstrations, instructions, and parables. Another man trained a group of
living letters. The Yoga and
Eastern schools in general
have depended on initiation,
followed by telepathic indoctrination for varying lengths
of time. But the proponents of
all these methods realize that
even then the subject was so
technical that these were imperfect methods of communication.
"So if my own communication
as published in the magazine
seems a little fuzzy, this is
expected. It is a little like
simplifying the theory of
transistors f o r my daughter
who can just barely wire up an
Erector motor. I rork beside a
man for two years, and spend a
good deal of that time talking
and demonstrating for him. Finally he begins to get an inkling of what is 'out there'.
"But if Mr. Felts is frustrated by the language complication, he should try to find a
good English word for 'prana'.
Or he should talk to somebody
who has tried to translate the
original language of the Bible,
'Separate the waters from the
waters'. Both of these words
in the original describe types
of energy, not water at all,
and different types of energy
at that.
"Any idea which can be expressed by the human mind can
be expressed in English? How do
you describe a'chakra' in
English? It is usually translated as 'wheel' in some places. In some places it is drawn
as a flower. The actual structure may be seen differently by
different people, as some who
see it in colors, others who
see it as colorless energy
structures, and a great many
who cannot see it at all.
"In many cases the use of
familiar words produces the
illusion of communication, without contributing one iota to
genuine understanding or learning. Therefore the choice of
an unfamiliar word, to indicate that the thing is not
easily understood." -- Harold S.
Schroeppel, Hazel Crest, Ill.
ili WAS DELIGHTED to come upon
1 the 'Hybrid Illiteracy'
article by Jack Felts in your
May issue. This sort of subject, treated thoughtfully and
entertainingly as Mr. Felts has
done, is a credit to The ABERREE. I have long thought that
the cause of understanding is
not served by proliferation of
terms, but that each author
should go to the pains of defining those special usages he
employs. After all, we are trying to communicate, which means
to transfer thought -- not garble it." -- Paul Perella, Lone
Pine, Calif.
"I'LL BET Jack Phelts likes
early American, hooked
rugs, and Elinor Glyn.
"Jack and the French Academy notwithstanding, language
is a changing, evolving thing
subject to infusions of slang
and the vernacular. Any closed
or tightly-knit group tends to
invent its own as sociologists
and semanticists point out.
That jazz musicians and buffs
(excluding self-styled linguists) speak seeming jargon
with the intention of obscuring ideas is simply an assumption that if they don't communicate to you, they don't
communicate. 'Man, if you don't
dig, you're not a part of the
group'. Even professional writers talk shop.
"As for so-called primitive
music, it isn't necessarily
primitive harmonically or otherwise. The music played by
certain African natives (natives -- another loaded term)
shows, in many instances, hundreds of years of development
and is quite as complicated as
the Goldberg variations. Mr.
Felphs lumped jazz along with
'primitive' music, and o n e
might gain the impression that
it is indeed primitive. The
best is, of course, an analysis
by an old-fashioned musicologist of jazz composition by a
master such as Brubech.
"With or without keys', one
should be able to appreciate
James Joyce as the greatest
master of the pun in the English language. The stream of
consciousness technique, alone,
is enough to give him stature
as a writer. A perceptive semanticist or Dianetic auditor
could find much meaningful m aterial in 'Finnegan's Wake'.
The book should not be read to
gather one or two central impressions. Excerpts, my friend,
are the answer and in these
you will find much of value,
ideas which communicate a n d
are understandable.
"My thesis is: If one is
willing to talk shop, to appreciate
a bit at a time, then
one will not have a difficult
time understanding or becoming
a printer, painter, or a motorcycle cop. It's possible to
1 i k e and understand Sylvan
Thomas or Edith Sitwell and at
the same time like and understand Shakespeare's sonnets
and Whitman's songs...
"One's intention on creativity is to communicate and W
not necessarily to everyone. W
Broad communicability does n' t 04
insure something's esthetic C4
worth or its value. Other- W
wise, back to Elinor Glyn...
"The recent debate about CO
bastardizing our beautiful CC
language ensuing upon the
printing of the Revised Stand- m
ard Version of the Bible (it c
communicates more broadly) and E.,
the new dictionaries demonstrates that there is room for
diversity -- room for more than
Fowler's 'Better English Usage', the 'Oxford English Die- 14