The Challenge is to write an entire post without the use of a particular letter. Eschewing a vowel is extra brave, it’s said, so I’m going without the “sometimes vowel.”

The Alphabet Without the Sometimes Vowel

A is a dependable letter. It can stand alone. It is faithful and valuable. Nothing spectacular, kind of quiet about its business, but there, all the time. There are 33 A’s in this short paragraph alone. Important words don’t often start with A. America does. As do absurd and asinine, both useful descriptors as we witness the workings of America’s government (or lack thereof).

Absurd and Asinine

B is the opposite, bustling in behind A, it is an assertive letter. Like a bull in a china shop, it busts into a sentence, blustering and being big. People whose names begin with B are Buds and Burts and Berthas– with big voices and boisterous laughs. An aside: this video of a bull in a china shop belies the metaphor.

C is complicated – schizophrenic. At times a nice, soft sound, as in nice or citrus. And at times a callous, uncompromising letter used to scare people — Communist, Corporation, Cholesterol. And, of course, Cancer. Still, it’s a cooperative letter, and works well with others, acknowledging that it could be lacking on its own.

D still brings back dismal feelings of defeat. It is what I got in a high school math class (starting with G and having do with triangles and such), and that was *after* Mr. Griffin went and asked Mr. Williamson not to fail me.

E is an excellent letter, relating with ease and connecting to each letter like a sociable aunt. It is also the first letter in elephant, this writer’s all-time favorite animal and a cool word in itself.

Nothing Cooler

F – back to high school. I got them twice, both times for failing to attend classes that were rude enough to be scheduled during sweetheart of the week’s lunch break. One of the classes I failed was Band, and the other was the class that taught me how to find and use letters on a machine used for writing. What I’m doing now.

G begins Griffin, which I used to hate, but which I have grown to respect. I used to think it too serious. Solid, a tad masculine. But it knows how to have fun. It’s Welsh, which isn’t as fun as Irish, but still…

H. Hmmm. I haven’t much feeling for H. I suppose it’s cooperative like C, changing and morphing and toughing it out when it’s not in the place of Honor.

I is all about me. And I like that. I like to write I. I. I. Don’t we all? I could not write a post without the letter I.

J has got strange juju – like juju, it can be good or bad. As in Scrabble – nailing a triple-letter score, J rocks. Left over at the end of the game, it can cost eight points. Jam is good. Jasmine tea is evocative. Jazz can be nice, depending…

K is not a letter for kids. It can start out kind, but is a trickster and can end up knocking a person over or even killing them. Like a King, it can be capricious. I think it suffers from serious codependence with C, and is also just a grump because it doesn’t get to take the lead often.

L stands for love, and that is all we need.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono - the-70s Photo

M starts Melanie, which I like better than Griffin. The best friend from childhood is the sole person who gets to call me Griffin. M is melodious, musical (are those the same?) and begins cool words like maestro and magician.

N. I have no opinion. It is a non-sound, a nothing, a neutral letter. Nada.

O makes me laugh. It can be opinionated and official, but I don’t take that to heart. It’s the shape of a surprised mouth and round, surprised pupils. And that is simple lightheartedness. October, too, is light — bright and crisp.

P presents a preponderance of paths to explore. Lots of words start with P, and the letter, like A, is applicable to the opposition of the political parties in D.C. at present. Apoplectic parading before the press and parsimonious pissing matches proliferate. Plus pandering.

Q. Talk about codependence. I don’t even want to mention U in this paragraph, because the Q will get all quiverish. Of late, we are seeing too much of Q as the queen of “Sequestration.”

R – I like R. It is rich and round and rolls off the tongue. Rambunctious at times, it gets riled up and romps ‘round the house, rousing drowsing folk. Then out of the blue, it relaxes and becomes more reserved and reticent, even sometimes bordering on routine.  But a reassuring routine, not a boring one.

S, for me, is one of the most sublime of all the letters. Such sounds! How it sings to us and sanctifies our speaking and listening. It can hush – Shhhh — or it can scream, if pressed. It has spirit. Scarce it is not, as it signifies pluralism and adds abundance wherever it lands.

T, like dependable A, deserves our trust. It is tough, but lightweight; there in the past, the present, and the future.

U is unobtrusive, but ubiquitous. Thank God for it. Otherwise, where would Q be?

V is a venerable letter. It is old-fashioned, in a sense. World War II old-fashioned, as in valor and victorious. Vacuous and vapid ought not to start with a V; it is not appropriate. And I wish that vicious did not either. Oh, but now I’m off on the D.C. villains again.

W – Words with weight owe their being to W. Wisdom, worth, world. But also wild and whimsical.

X is fortunate that the word “oxen” exists, or Scrabble mavens would despise it. It is an extreme example of the “weird letters.” Unless it can persuade an E to lead it around, or a chemist to name a food additive after it, it’s stuck with the instrument that ends with “ophone” and those medical imaging thingies – neither of which I can mention because each contains…

The unspoken letter, the lack of which isn’t so bad, except that I cannot speak to the reader in second person, and I miss – the other person.

Z we love because it is Z. It’s a zealous word, but Zen at the same time. It’s nice that someone thought to start a flower’s name with Z — the Zinnia.

Photo From Wikipedia Commons

There – I’ve done it. No “wise.”