Context: I recently got the chance to meet a Greek person with whom I talked endlessly about Greek mythology. I actually studied Ancient Greek in youth for the sake of being put in the best class at secondary school to please the person I love to call the “Queen Mother”. Needless to say, in spite of still knowing the symbols of the Greek alphabet, I have no clue what they mean. The only use I may have of this now is being able to guess names’ meanings fairly easily and all sorts of words containing the letters phobia, miso and logia which is good to show off at diner parties every once in a while.
Indeed, no point to learn a “dead” language if only to know more about the structure of “living” languages.
But speaking about dead languages, I came to realize the other day that other sorts of communication structures have been dying recently with the rise of the Internet. I particularly thought of the telegram being replaced by the SMS or short and sharp emails. In fact all sorts of “Victorian Internet” chanels (term I discovered while searching it that includes telegraph and pneumatic tube) used various languages to communicate fast and efficiently on a global scale. Sadly, since the last official telegram was sent over 10 years ago, this is now only used by a small group of literate geeks (I could not find a better term really) who attempt to preserve it and now form a sort of elite which is, in the end, the opposite of why the Morse language was elaborated in the first place.
I must admit I am an internet junkie and I won’t blame anyone the web offers us today. But I am a tad nostalgic of the good old hand-written letter and wish I would have received a telegram once in my life - just for the sake of having to decipher the extremely sharp messages contained in telegraphs or the graphic lines of a Morse message. And with Valentine’s Day approaching, I would have also liked, as a writer to be challenged to write a love telegram or a love Morse code message.
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