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A PERSUASIVE ESSAY CONCERNING THE FEASIBILITY OF STRIKING THE LETTER M OUT OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Originally written for English 213 class, early spring, 1984

First of all, I wish to be clear that I will not be objective about this paper. I want you to agree with this idea. I want to wring you for all you're worth, using any technique I have to, in order to achieve this end. I want to squeeze tears out of your eyes and yeses out of your lips and I will stop at nothing to do this. Forget Logical, goodbye Rationality; there is no place for these paltry ideas. We are talking Persuasion here, and we want (and I use the royal "We") response!

I want you also to realize that this whole idea is thoroughly ridiculous, indeed, fasten that thought in your head, keep it there, and still I will do the best I can to persuade you that this action is necessary and even ideal, for all of us. The last thing I wish you to take note of is that this will be written with tongue tightly in cheek, and will use a sarcastic tone to the best advantage.

It is the intent of this paper to prove that we, as a society, do not need the letter M, and to that end, I will try to write this entire essay without once using the letter M in any word, except those words in quotes which shall serve to illustrate the point. This will, I hope, only help to show the feasibility of the idea, and prove to you, the audience, that the letter M is obsolete. Of course, doing away with the letter M will cause a few difficulties at first because M, over the centuries, has entrenched itself in the language and the collective consciousness of the world, —but we are advocates of change. Progress is the order of the day. Should a silly letter stand in the way of this progress? No. I believe that society is ready to accept a change of this nature, a step toward perfecting our culture, our lifestyles, and our alphabet.

In regards to the alphabet...think how well-rounded a figure twenty-five is, when considered against our old standard of 26 letters. Twenty-five is easier to deal with, and it has a nicer ring to it than does "twenty-six", which sounds long, and really, rather dull. Twenty-five, as a total, will be able to do the job of totaling the alphabet without the length and breadth of twenty-six. What we are trying to achieve, in this sense, is restraint.

I realize that if we were to do away with the letter M, there would be a few difficulties with certain words, and certain factions, such as parents, that don't wish to be changed. But, if we are careful to look at this change as a challenge, a step forward, perhaps the transition won't be as hard as a few people would wish it to be. There will always be those who struggle against change, and we need to be on our guard.

If this change were to go through, I feel that places and people, personal pronouns or personal appellations, if we really get down to it, would be able to stay as they are. There is no need for these to change. They could be allowed to achieve the status of antiquities, of curiosities, of a grand old tradition. They will constitute proof of the progressiveness of our culture. They shall bring gladness to the hearts of society. We shall be able to truly say that we have achieved a place in history.

Think of the benefits! We would no longer have the battle of the sexes because there would be no "men and women". There would be no longer an issue of "majorities and minorities"; instead, people would be people, unclassified in such outdated ways. There would be no "murder" or "crime" and that perhaps would be the best advantage of all. Cultures that have never had a word for war have never had war. They could not even conceive of the idea. Perhaps if our society were to follow this lead, over the course of years, we could abolish these heinous acts by the easy action of taking away the letter M, and with it, the words and concepts for these ideas.

As further proof that the action of striking out the letter M will hardly even faze us, I have researched the use of the letter M in literature. In The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone, there were only, on the average, 26 words appearing that contained the letter M, on a page of (on the average) 440 words. In the classic novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, the letter M also gives a poor showing. It appears on the average in only 21 words on a page of 350 words (again, the average). Already, as is shown by these statistics, M is nearly eased out of the English language already! It is clearly a letter which has had its day.

As a last persuasive point, I wish you take notice of the physical vulgarity of the letter M. Those pointy, spiky, up-and-down tips, the way in which it stands there with such a self-satisfied sneer on the page, its general lack of aesthetic value...all point to a letter that we would be better off without.

I invite you to scrutinize this essay for the use of the letter M in any pertinent word. The absence of the letter itself should only serve to hit you harder with the feasibility of the idea that the letter M is, indeed, obsolete.
 silly
mood: silly
music: Suzanne Vega—99.9F


Comments

curious to know how this was graded! obviously not with "Med beröM godkänt"... :)

I got a 3.0, which equals a B 😃

Ha! Was everyone given the same assignment or did you have to come up with it on your own? If only you hadn't gone and named your first born Martin. ;-)

haha! I know, but he falls under the category of personal appellations! I came up with the idea based on a comment I heard Steve Martin make once in a comedy sketch.

(Anonymous)

Enjoyed this -BUT
TOO EASY -
paragraph 7 ..."battle of the sexes because there would be no MORE "men and women"
Hope you moved the " marks back one word! :0 Love, Lizardmom

Haha! Fixed!

Now I'm really curious -- what was the assignment that sparked the essay?

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