Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Alphabetical inferiority complex

Glory be, glory be, L’alphabet, L’alphabet.

10.20am, during one of our peut-etre more seismically challenged days, myself and the Arabic language face a trial separation as I declare to bloke beside me I think I’ve reached the end of the road. We are being dunked into the pan of the alphabet and let’s just say there’s more carrots in there than I bargained for. Each letter has 4 different ways of being written depending if it’s at the beginning of a word, medial or final. Many of them look remarkable similar to begin with, so having felt a little faint at the sight of them all as singles, it’s unfathomable that there are now three different other versions that do not look a great deal like the isolated version. The purpose of the isolated version is still a mystery. Perhaps they are only used on tie pins or for decor purposes?

Every-time the teacher asks me a question she erupts in an affectionate set of giggles in anticipation of my answer because my attempts sounds a little more yodelling than the others. I do have the best arm waving though. But by the time I conquer ‘this traffic bollard is bothering me and can I have a shampoo and set’  arm waving may be out of vogue.

 Generally I feel I’ve been raised in an inferior language when I contemplate the complexity of this script and all it’s variations.

 I’m certainly overwhelmed but afterwards sunk in the library in literary ventures I find myself imagining writing that script and then begin to copy and practise the first six letters and find it surprisingly comforting like knitting or swimming must be if you’re good at it. I cannot understand why I am so compatible with it until it all makes sense. It’s written right to left, so it’s got to be in the left brain, which is where all my pigeons roost.

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