Dawson Filter was in quite a pickle. He needed to know the True Meaning of Feelings to complete his quest and feel satisfied with his day; but the only grapevine that knew the meaning spoke only in rhymes, and the answer to his quest had no rhyme. Dawson knew he and his cohorts had to create a language in which every word rhymes in order for the grapevine to give the answer.
Dawson Filter, Babe Listowel, Sylvester Denny, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari had already begun to write the language’s first dictionary.
The grapevine seemed to have little problem with slant rhymes, which freed the committee somewhat; although they decided that every word should contain the same vowels, and have an identical last syllable. This syllable was unanimously voted to be “florg.” There are an estimated 1.025 million words in English; but the Quest Committee planned to have no overlap in the meaning of any words in the new language. They also saw no need for articles, eliminating an additional three words. They guessed that they would need about 900 thousand words in total. With 21 consonants in the alphabet, each word would require five defining consonants to be unique from all others. The general format for words, they decided, would be the following (with an underscore signifying the presence of a consonant):
The first three vowels were always pronounced as short vowels; and both of the o’s as long vowels. Twelve-Anne named the language “Putijapoflorg,” after the language’s place of origin.
Experienced in dialects of nonsense, each member of the Quest Committee was able to coin about two words per second. They finished the dictionary in just under two days.
The grapevine, having all knowledge, immediately picked up on all the subtleties of the language; but Dawson Filter, Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne, and Babe Listowel’s Putijapoflorg was broken at best. Within a week, though, they learned enough to get by in basic conversation and communicate with vendors.
On their ninth day on the edge of the universe, Twelve-Anne decided to strike up a chat with some of the grapes.
“Hulisanobflorg,” she said, “dunilajoxflorg runilajotflorg yupisanonflorg lukilafowflorg buqiladopflorg lunigagogflorg?”
“Wutiradobflorg supifalotflorg gudipanotflorg.” the grapes replied warmly.
“Wutiradobflorg musitanogflorg supifalotflorg gudipanotflorg huvinagogflorg wuridabokflorg furitanogflorg yupiramobflorg culijazosflorg.” said Babe Listowel, always the joker of the group.
The grapes laughed, along with Sylvester Denny; but Dawson Filter decided it was time to get down to business.
“Qutwihatorflorg supifalotflorg turirabobflorg muningogflorg runicavosflorg fulinagosflorg?” he asked.
“Wutiradobflorg supifalotflorg hudinanosflorg.”
Dawson Filter sighed. He smiled at the grapes. As a child, Dawson wanted to hunt and kill a fire-spewing death otter. At that time, his village was terrorised by rabid yardbird lions. When he told his mother that he wanted to hunt an death otter, she laughed, knowing that he knew nothing of what he spoke. Still, she saw an opportunity in his desire. She told him that the death otters lived in the shadows, protected by the yardbird lions. If Dawson killed the lions, she said, he would have a chance at the otters. Dawson Filter, normally a timid boy, jumped at this opportunity. He never found a single death otter, largely because they don’t exist; and spent a great portion of his youth slaying the yardbird lions. Eventually, every yardbird lion was dead. To this day, no one remembers the beasts. Dawson erased all signs of them; and the world is a better place for it. If there really had been death otters, he would have stopped the hunt and the people of the world would continue to live in fear of the yardbird lions.
In the time since Dawson Filter had been searching for the True Meaning of Feelings, he had rescued Twelve-Anne Stradivari from Ganymede, saved Sylvester Denny’s life, cofounded a reasonably profitably company, and made a way out of the universe. The grapes were right, the True Meaning of Feelings was hidden (hudinanosflorg). He knew that they knew the answer he wanted; but they answered hudinanosflorg. Indeed, the True Meaning of Feelings was hidden. Hidden behind every quest, over every horizon, beckoning him forward to wherever he was needed. He turned around and thanked the grapes for not letting the quest end.