Objection 1: It would seem that the Letter “O” is unnecessary in the English language, or perhaps, for that matter, any language. It is neither one of the most common vowels nor does it take any effort to pronounce. In fact, it is often used for useless expressions of grumbling and complaint. Therefore, it must not serve any real good.
Objection 2: The Letter “O” resembles a zero in its majuscule form, and is even punier in its miniscule form. And as we all know, zero has no value. Therefore, its value must be nothing or even less than nothing.
Objection 3: The Letter “O” is neither difficult to write nor to pronounce. Children typically learn the single stroke of a circle as their first letter, and learn to recognise it as no more than a shape in their first lessons at home. Therefore, it would seem unfitting for any full-grown, educated man to even bother with this letter, much less use it in writing.
On the contrary, the Poet wrote, “O, it is my love,” and “O, how I faint when I of you do write.” For no other letter does he sing such praises. The letter “O” is used in languages old and new to add emphasis to many a lyric in song and poetry, and several animal names begin with it1. Therefore the Letter “O” is exceedingly important.
I answer that, to speak or write in any language one must first have mastered the fundamentals, and then use all the letters in their proper places. It is necessary not only to use the more common letters (such as “E” in English), and those with pleasant sounds and connotation, but to use (within proper bounds) even those more vulgar terms and expressions as may be fitting to certain unavoidable situations in life. For instance, although the toilet may be a rather vulgar invention compared to the supercomputer or even the mobile phone, yet no man can go on living long in polite society without the use of the toilet (which, coincidentally, has itself the shape of this Letter “O”, a shape suited to the easy collection of unwanted substances).
Now the letter “O” is necessary for many words, which words would not have been created if there were no need for them. For words are created as they are needed, since
“motherhood is the necessity of invention.” “necessity is the mother of invention.” Without the letter “O”, we would be without many words, and without words, we would be speechless.
Reply to Objection 1. In any language, it is not only the most common letters which have value, nor those that take the most effort to pronounce. For these letters which may be seen as having greater value receive their status in relation to the other, less common and more effortless letters. And when it comes time to wielding an expression of complaint, as when one strikes one’s pinky toe upon a piece of furniture, the grumbling of an effortless vowel is the most valuable tool with which to demonstrate one’s agony.
Reply to Objection 2. Not all things incur the value of what they resemble. Nor is the number zero entirely without utility. Although it is true that zero by itself has no value mathematically and no worth monetarily, yet it does indeed give value to the numbers placed before it, and certainly has utility as a numeral. When a zero is placed after a number, its value grows tenfold; just so, when an “O” is added before a phrase, it becomes not just a phrase, but a Grand Expression. Therefore it is not only not worthless, but for these reasons it is perfectly suited to the shape it holds.
Reply to Objection 3. That something less difficult is not necessarily of less value is shown to be false in many categories, not least that of economics. It is typical for those who do the least difficult work to hold jobs of superior ranking, such as managers, financial and executive officers, and boards of directors. Most of them do little to no real work, but make exorbitant sums of money, while real workers like the writers of The Flying News are paid in peanuts and doughnuts.
Public domain image by Roberto94, available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Alphabet#mediaviewer/File:Svssfb.jpg
- Ocelot, Octopus, Okapi, Opossum, Orang-utan, Ostrich, Otter, Ox, etc. ↩