From the pen of Mr Latimer Naseby.
I report here a topic that I’ve called “Lord Appleyard’s Recollections”. I was pleased to make his acquaintance when he lodged with us at Government House for some weeks. Although by then an elderly man, an elder statesman to be sure, his mind was as sharp as my own. His title was a recent one, recognition of his service to King and Country. It was well deserved. Many of my colleagues in the engineering sphere will be more familiar with his previous name. I believe that RKJ Wilson will be remembered for centuries to come.
The great web of copper filaments that were beginning to link countries and even continent,s was the wonder of the age. Indeed, the threads were beginning to spread from house to house, from factory to wharehouse to counting house. There was a new race upon the earth, a race that spoke a new, more efficient language. The Telegraphers were the new Prometheans. They did not need to meet to converse with each other. Their language was like the tapping of a new spirit presence at a séance. By dots and dashes the Word could be spread.
It was an item of fashion almost… ‘Can you read code?’. Mere mortals relied on these shamans to interprete the clicks and scratches for them. Even then, common speech was changing. Politicians, journalist and industrialists learned to speak telegrammatically. Poetry, they said, would soon be dead.
That code is almost gone now, soon there will be no one alive who can interpret the clicks and chirrups. There is no need now. We can be reading a story in as quick a time as it can be entered into a keyboard . The English language though, will forever show the influence of the electrical telegraph. You might say it lives on in the pithy and inconsequential comments made on Sema4.
I would like to believe that this world thinks more clearly now, or at least in a more concise manner. Poetry, as we know, did not die. There are more readers now than there have ever been before. I wonder how many of the popular ‘barkers’ shouting out their poems realise that their shortened sentences were born from an electrical charge?
This is another excerpt of an ongoing fiction work ‘Mr Faraday’s Cage & Other Tales of Obscure Science’. I will be publishing new parts twice weekly.