San Rafael, CA. Ben Nelson, a bright 24 year-old English teacher, decided that from now on he would only utter sounds that comprise words in the Oxford Dictionary.
“I just want to sound erudite for my friends. So I figured that I could accomplish this if I only made sounds that were words in the dictionary. I never realized how much of a struggle the undertaking would be. For example, I can’t laugh, grunt, or cry since none is in the dictionary at this time.
“The biggest problem was when I cut off the end of my finger with a sharp knife last weekend. I couldn’t even yelp or express pain other than to say, ‘Goodness, I think I just cut off my finger and it hurts very much.’
“I still have many unanswered questions about what I am supposed to do. Can I pant after a long jog? How about clapping at a concert or passing wind? A kiss that makes a smacking sound?”
Terence Bradford, Chief Editor of the Oxford Dictionary, was impressed with Nelson’s efforts and promised that the staff would try to add to the dictionary words that spell the kind of sounds that Nelson makes, but admitted that the group was especially frustrated by its inability to spell the sound made when a person passes wind. “We have listened to recordings of this sound but just can’t crack the word barrier. This is our ultimate challenge.”