Can you write an entire paragraph without the letter Y?
That isn’t too much of a challenge is it? That particular letter (the one that resembles the confluence in Pittsburgh where the Monongahela joins with that other river whose name I can never remember to form the Ohio) constitutes a mere 1.
9% of English text – so avoiding it is not going to tax us much! We could just about write whatever we want, and the magic of statistics and the alphabetic probabilities would result in a paragraph that just needed a few tweaks to be fit for purpose.
A random chunk of prose plucked on a whim from the enormous stockpile that is English Literature could soon be whipped into shape.
To be, or not to be: that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And in opposing end them?
…required the change of but a single word in order to conform to the rule! (Of course, the “in” in the fifth line was the single non-Shakespearean word!) It is true that adverbs would be a problem, and we would need to avoid them like the plague – but apart from that, ducking a letter that constitutes less than one fiftieth of bulk text is not going to pose a problem.
(I did start-off thinking that all adverbs would be off-limits on account of containing 'that certain letter', but afterwards – upon reflection – I thought better of it and soon realized that the well-known two-letter ending was not a hard and fast rule and that there were quite a few adverbs still available to me.
I am still amazed and embarrassed that I could have been so slow, thick, dense, dim-witted, asinine and stupid?) I will confess that numbers and the calendar remains a bit of a chore! Counting any further than nineteen is a bitch and those periods that extend from one sunrise to the next and divide the week into seven equal parts are a nightmare! We are so used to them having their own names – all ending with the same three-letter suffix in order to facilitate calculating how much time remains until the weekend – that the removal of that one damnable letter puts us right behind the eight ball! We can still use 'Tomorrow', 'a week from now', ‘next month’ and ‘Christmas Eve’ but other dates are going to be problematical!
I have done.
This is from :
Sickles switched off the lamp and slipped out of the room, plunging it into darkness as she shut the door behind her.
Toloth rolled over, buried Teresa's face in the pillow, and listened for a moment to the sounds of a human house at night – the sloshing of water in the pipes, the occasional car driving past outside, the voice of Teresa's father as he continued his phone conversation with his sister – Chris's barking, Mrs.
Chiodini's shuffling footsteps, and the gentle pulsing of his own host's heart.