Vowels for Wales

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“My wife and I were driving around England once, and we came to a section called ‘Wales,’ which is this linguistically deformed area that apparently is too poor to afford vowels. All the road signs look like this:

LLWLNCWNRLLWNWRLLN—3 km

    It is a tragic sight indeed to see Welsh parents attempting to sing traditional songs such as ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ to their children and lapsing into heart-rending silence when they get to the part about ‘E-I-E-I-O.’ If any of you in our reading audience have extra vowels that you no longer need, because for example your children have grown up, I urge you to send them (your children) to: Vowels for Wales, c/o Lord Chesterfield, Parliament Luckystrike, the Duke of Earl, Pondwater-on-Gabardine, England.”

—Dave Barry, Europe on Five Vowels a Day, from Dave Barry’s Greatest HIts, 1988.

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