An alphabet our parents didn't teach us

Calligrapher Jean Evans's new alphabet, ``written with a small piece of cherry veneer secured in a wooden handle,'' delighted us in its published form, a three-inch, palm-size portfolio. Would she adorn our bigger pages with her letters -- and allow us to accompany them with a few words that were not on the blackboard with yesterday's ABCs? We're delighted again that she said yes. . . . is for analog, as in computer . . . is for byte or eight binary bits (presumably neuter) . . . is for compact, not Mayflower but disk . . . is for digital as in B and C (which we ought to know by now, tsk tsk!) . . . is for endive, hard to eat with chopsticks . . . is for freeze or perhaps fiber optics . . . is for genes, not to wear but to splice . . . is for holograms, 3-D but nice . . . is for I-and-I in reggae talk . . . is for jogging when we'd rather walk . . . is for kissing, not yet replaced by automation . . . is for laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) . . . is for man on the moon instead of in it . . . is for nouvelle when all we mean is up to the minute . . . is for oil, how long will it last? . . . is for pollster, space probe, and Proust's recycled past . . . is for quantum, quite handy if you want to leap . . . is for the right stuff (`a la Tom Wolfe, of course, not linsey-woolsey sheep) . . . is for shuttle or semiotic or possibly sprouts . . . is for tofu without any doubts . . . is for unilateral -- well, someone has to start, so, please, no wisecracks . . . is for VCR, which not only Valley Girls (remember them?) viddy to the max . . . is for (the) wave, swamping stadiums where you'd think the refs would flag it . . . is for xenophobia, and isn't now the time to bag it? . . . is for yesterday's Yuppies, Yumpies, and the young of every mix . . . is for zucchini, proof that an old squash can learn new tricks

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