Like many people, I was thrilled to see this picture in the NY Times today because nothing gets me going like SECRET MESSAGES. My vote for best character in A Tale of Two Cities? Madame Defarge and her knitting needles, of course. And how about those Native American marine Code Talkers we learned about from watching the preview for that Nicholas Cage movie? Makes me want run out and buy Rosetta Stone Navajo for the whole family!
Because meaning within meaning is what’s really fun and interesting. In Cast Off, the book I’m writing now, the two main characters learn a unique language that’s tonal with very few morphemes. In other words (pun intended), the way the words are pitched are more important than the vowels and consonants they contain. This means my characters can speak two languages at once. They can say, “Please pass the salt” in Dutch but pitch the words in such a way that at the same time they’re also saying, “That woman in the corner over there is plotting to assassinate us!” How handy is that?
***Just want to follow up on my Magic Powers post. My husband, who likes keeping a low profile so I’ll refer to him by his scrambled letter name, iNck, says I have a fourth power: the ability to fall asleep in seconds almost anywhere. It’s true, I conked out at a Rolling Stones concert and have snoozed through countless NY Rangers games, but I maintain that this ability is a skill, not a power. It’s too commonplace to be magic. My friends Andy S. and Jordy S. (no relation) can do it, and so can every parent with a child under five. So, sorry iNck, my magic power tally stands at three.