Babel of tongues: A fable in three parts

Once upon a time, the whole earth spoke one language. As people migrated from the east to the west, they found a valley in a pleasant land and settled there. They said to each other, "Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves.

Otherwise we will be scattered around the world." Then the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower that these folks were building. "If, as one people having the same lingo, they can do this, impossible is nothing! So let us go down and confuse their tongues so that they won't be able to make sense of anyone's speech!" So the good folks of Babel were scattered over diverse parts of the planet, and they had to stop building the city. Therefore they called it Babylon, for God had confounded their argot in order to spread the people out over the face of the earth.

Once upon a time, the people of God were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and it filled the place where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire, appeared and rested on each one's head. Then they were all filled with the promised Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech. There were Jews living in this city with a temple, devout men from every nation under heaven. When the sound like a mighty rushing wind was heard in it, crowds gathered.

They were amazed and astonished and astounded, because each one heard the Jews speaking in their own lingo. They said, "Look, aren't these people who are jabbering village yokels from the north? How is it, then, that we each hear them speaking to us in our native tongues?" There were Asians, Asian minors, Babylonians, Cappadocians, Demagogues, Eloquents, Freethinkers, Gentiles, Hecklers, Interpreters, Jingoists, Kaleidoscopes, Lawyers, Meanies, Noncombatants, Operasingers, Peripatetics, Quislings, Rhetoricians, Stentorians, Ululators, Vividdescribers, Weepers, Wailers, Xenophobes, Yahoos, Yobbos, and Zitherplayers in the crowd; visitors from Greece and Rome, both Gentiles and Republicans, of every linguistic people, tribe, and nation under heaven. And they were all puzzled and perplexed, and posited and postulated that these Jews - or Mot Justes - were speaking in their own language and praising the good, the great, the grand works of God. Some said, "What is this?" But others said, "This is what!"

Once upon a time, in the isle of the blessed where God is made in man's image, the people had three languages. English, the language of their erstwhile colonizers, had divided and conquered them; so the blessed islanders therefore decided to make it their "link language", in honour of how much it had sundered and separated them. Sinhala, the argot and jargon of the neo-colonialists, was made the state language; to send out the democratic socialist republican message that this was a free country, by God! (or Man!), and everyone is free to speak the majority's mother language - so help you God! Man! Tamil, the third language of the island race, is about as much use as a third wheel on a bicycle; and when you try to learn it, you know why it's relegated to tier three. Hebrew has 22 characters, Greek 24, and English 26, while Sinhala - the lingo of jingoistic moderates - has a modest 156. Tamil, the separatist idiom of extremists, has 247, which explains why anyone who separates themselves to this extreme task has to work at it 24/7 if one has to have any hope of mastering it, leave alone the master race.

MORALE: Humankind cannot bear too many tongues. We need to evolve from bibble, babble, jabberwocky, gobbledygook to euphony, the tongues of gods and angels - and we can't do it in three languages assigned to the wrong spheres of national life. Why three, or a plethora as at Pentecost, when one would do? Question is, which? Answer is, cryptoshorthand e-notation. Or FB, for short (not to be too cryptic). That is, the language of nearly one billion Facebook users (by end 2012 maybe) - the planet's third nation after China and India. LOL. LMAO. ROTFL. Get the idea? Good! GBU2…

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