Understanding August 1986
MAKE IT SHORT
The people of the United States, (U.S.), have become a nation of abbreviators. The English language seems to be one that constantly requires shortening. whether this is the result of inherent efficiency or simply laziness may be a moot question, but any word of six letters or more will soon be shortened to three or even one if it can be done with any reasonable chance of being understood.
When Spanish speaking people first settled Southern California, (So. Ca.), they named a new village ‘El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles. (The Village of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels). A lovely name, but impossibly long for the English speaking people who came along afterward, and quickly cut the name down to ‘Los Angeles’, and finally, for most folks, just L.A. Thus a city name containing ten words was cut to two letters which still conveyed the necessary information as to location.
In a world of constantly increasing complexity, the use of abbreviations became more and more desirable. The average farmer who needed a powerful insecticide found that the letters D.D.T. were much easier to remember than the words Di-chloro-di-phenol-trichloro-ethane, that the letters represented. Also, the High school or college student who wished to take a quick ‘trip’ into fantasy land, found it easier to remember the letters L.S.D. or just the one word ‘Acid’ than to memorize the ‘Lisurgic acid- diethyl-amide to which both of the abbreviations referred, although it must be admitted that most of the college students were well aware of the chemical nature of the substance and the fact that most college chemistry laboratories (Labs.) contained all of the tools and materials to make it. (A fact that, for several years, added considerable incentive to enrollment in college chemistry classes.) Both of the above substances have largely become obsolete, and have been replaced by others, but always under abbreviations of their generic names.
Medical science uses a large number of abbreviations, but they are usually of Latin rather than English words. Doctors have always preferred to use Latin rather than English as a means of impressing their patients with their erudition, and to conceal the fact that the die-saccharide pill they have just prescribed is actually just a placebo (sugar).
The Pentagon is a place where abbreviations are spawned by the hundreds. Everything that can be abbreviated, will be, and those which cannot will be converted into something that can. (A habit which saves a certain amount of paper, and may add to the aura of mystery and sophistication, but does little to add to human understanding!)
There is an increasing need for an American encyclopedia of abbreviations, and we may hope that one will soon appear on the market. Looking a little farther into the future, we may forsee the time when the English language will no longer be a required subject in American schools, and classes in abbreviations will be substituted. (There will of course, be refresher classes in English for those who have forgotten the words for which the abbreviations stand.
A few days ago I read an article in the papers that stated that Gorbachev fears that Reagan’s S.D.I. may weaken or invalidate the Soviet principle of M.A.D.!” (Perhaps when the encyclopedia comes out, we all may learn what that means!)
(signed Daniel W. Fry)
(hand written) Cleonas Corner To The Family of Understanding, August 1986
Often we do remember that “we live moment-by-moment”, I might add, “and a future full of IF’s”. We are living proof of this! READ ON!
The July Newsletter was written very early, because (1) on June 26; the second cataract was to be removed from Dr. Fry’s eyes, meaning he would then be unable to write or type! (2) But on June 17 a vicious infection had Dr. Fry in its grasp. (3) He was given double strength antibiotic then and there in our doctor’s office, and an RX for 3 bottles of same! (Bactrin US). (4) Doctor stated “If one microscopic germ of this got into his eye during surgery, he would be totally blinded!” (5) We cancelled the eye surgery and re-set it for mid July! (6) June 24, 25 and 26 etc., yours truly had legs that ached and suddenly visible veins which meant superficial phlebitis, (the disease of presidents!) (7) July 3 to doctor, ordered to bed for 10 days and no driving a car. (8) Reported to doctor on 10th day and then restricted to 30 minutes up, then 30 minutes in bed-legs elevated-for 30 days! (9) So, we cancelled the eye surgery AGAIN. Obviously, I couldn’t drive Dr. Fry to El Paso! (10) The surgery is now set (for a 3rd time) on August 13th We go down to El Paso on August 12 for tests and paperwork and remain there. Operation on 13th, then back to motel. August 14 back to doctor. He checks the implanted lens to see that it is still microscopically perfect. Then we come home. Drops go in the every two hours. (11) One week later, back to El Paso for check up and straight home. Of course, there will be no writing or typing for perhaps three weeks. (12) As for me, no longer will my body be used, as has my pretty car, for thousands of miles on road trips! The car can rest and so shall I, as I get smart enough to take care of myself the me, that I am. Nature called a hault this time, before I ended up in “bits and pieces.” All my life I’ve enjoyed great, robust health, and above all else, I fully intend to keep it. I’ve had over 5 years “on the road.” I loathe freeways and yes, I do all the road driving. I started driving at 13 and have now completed 65 years of accident-free driving as of June, 1986. Do you know anyone who can top that?
I sell all our books after each lecture-standing up. If I must go, there are planes flying and trains running! Ahh-my beloved trains from which I can look at our beautiful country-while at ease. Amtrak has a far better “record” than planes, cars, etc. What you don’t know is that Amtrak does not own the roadbeds upon which it runs! When an accident occurs, it is not Amtrak’s fault, but neglect of the roadbeds not being kept in repair as they should be by their owners.
Being grounded isn’t all bad. I’ve had time-that lovely and rare commodity-to travel through the landscapes of my mind to secret places known only to me. It was great to enjoy a feast of happy memories in the lovely long ago. Do you live your life so it will be a festival of memories later on? Sometimes one must feed ones hungry soul, and to picture worthy dreams brought to fruitation. There was TIME to go pondering through the incongruities between two worlds that are sometimes, more than worlds apart! Time to get lost mentally in the unbelievable vastness of the endless galaxies-ours and the countless others! It staggers the senses! Oh! How I should like to know all that’s out there and to be “outward bound!”
Yes, I know, when I depart this planet, I can do that-but how nice it would be to know NOW!
Speaking of planets and space ships, did you ever realize that YOU ARE NOW living on a space ship? That’s exactly what this extraordinary Earth and no, we can’t “fall off” because gravity controls all things ON this plane Earth-including us! Because of gravity, we need no protective outer shell. As I write this, we are traveling 17,000 miles every 24 hours. If we lived at the equator, we’d be going over 24,000 miles in each 24 hours. In fact, closer to 25,000 miles! We already know we’ll just travel along with you as we have 19 or 20 years of work ahead of us.
Much of our most important work is done by mail to far, far away countries as we get copies to all rulers (that we can) of “The Area of Mutual Agreement” which Dr. Fry wrote long ago. It is that “perfect plan for peace” as most of you already know. Every U. S. Senator has one, so does the President who quotes from it on TV every now and then, and Gorbechov has had one since even before he took office! These good thoughts have been implanted in their minds, giving to them a mutual area of agreement when they meet. Perhaps they will understand value the priceless threads of trust that knit friendships together. Let us pray!
We thank you for your support. Your continued support will be a vital contribution to this important and unending effort for lasting PEACE.
Blessings to you all!
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry
Cleona Q. Fry, Natl Treas.
World Understanding, Inc.
P.O. Box 614
Alamogordo, NM 88310