Rooster: Why is the alphabet ordered the way it is?
Paul: It’s pretty simple. It’s all about learning the little jingle alphabet song, everybody knows it; it’s universal in America. Kids love it. I sang it in my sleep.
Simon: (indignant) Cuz God made it that way!
Isaac: It’s a good question. I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past few years trying to figure out why, why, why the alphabet is the way it is. And I discovered, it’s that way because, that’s just the way it is. You understand?
Rooster: Who is responsible?
Paul: It’s all about linguistics. Linguistics is the study of behavior. In case you didn’t know. It’s how we look at language and perceive things. Letters, you can’t just throw them all around. They’re made that way so we can spit ‘em out the way they go.
Isaac: You don’t go around putting C before A; it just doesn’t work. You don’t put B after F.
Simon: You don’t see us all walking around with our pants on our heads.
Isaac: Yes, exactly, good point. You don’t go walking around in the alphabet backwards unless you’re getting a wisdom tooth pulled.
Paul: If you have to ask yourself why the alphabet is the way it is, you also must ask yourself why the ocean is blue.
Rooster: The oceans were here before us, but we created the alphabet.
Paul: You’re asking too many questions. Back to the topic at hand!
Rooster: Why aren’t the vowels all in a row? Why is Y at the end? The tune to which we sing the alphabet can surely be applied to any order of the 24 letters.
Paul: E B C D A F G, it just doesn’t sound as good.
Isaac: Yes, you could, but it destroys tradition! Childhood!
Paul: America is all about tradition.
Isaac: It’s true, and America is about the alphabet starting with A.
Paul: Z is all the way at the back because who the fuck ever uses Z?
Rooster: Certain letters are discriminated against.
Paul: U is marginalized. Same with Y. Isn’t he the dude that sometimes is a vowel, sometimes he’s not?
Isaac: (flustered) Again, it’s just the way it is, it’s been the same for a long time. Since the Phoenician alphabet of 19 characters representing only consonants. That’s just how it was when the Greeks used the models, then turned it into the “true” alphabet, and then it all just became the Western alphabets where they all derived from those old alphabets. And it’s always been the same. No one knows why, a mystery of life, it’s just the way it is.
Rooster: Why can’t there be more letters?
Paul: Because you haven’t created them yet.
Scadian enters. His bellend is bruised.
Isaac: My old friend. We were discussing why the alphabet is the way it is.
Rooster: Why does it follow a certain order?
Scadian: You see, it’s quite a foolish thing for you to say “the alphabet,” as if there would only be one alphabet. I believe there are at least 17,000 alphabets, and each of their orders is unique.
Rooster: What of the Western alphabet?
Isaac: Western, Modern alphabet of A to Z.
Scadian: Ahh. Well it’s a lot like growing up, and trying to think, “What’s going to happen when I grow up? Am I going to go up to L, go up to P, will I ever live up to my father’s X? [despondent] I don’t know… these are questions you have to ask yourself before you can wake up in the morning.
Isaac: “‘A.’ Will I become a doctor? ‘B.’ Maybe a lawyer. ‘C,’ I will become a bum just like my father said I was going to be.”
Scadian: You’re not a bum, Isaac. I’ve seen the way you kill demons. Not many people can do things like that. I know I struggle with it every day.
Isaac: Thank you, Scadian. I haven’t seen you in at least five years, good to see you again, brother.
Scadian: I’m glad that we could use this as an outlet to meet once more. I’ve been… well, I’ve been in hiding, studying the many alphabets. And when I heard I was going to be interviewed about the English alphabet, at first I laughed, to be honest I thought that it was a joke. I wasn’t going to do it; I thought it was below me. But when I knew you would be here, and I would be able to see you again after so long, I thought “I’m going to go A to Z all night with him.”
Isaac: Thank you, I thought the same things when I heard that I would be discussing the Modern Western alphabet with you, as well. It’s making it a lot…E…Z…er to do this.
Scadian: I have A feeling that we will B C-ing Each other…more often.
—Follow Nicky Smith on Twitter: @MUGGER1992