A Scheme for abolishing all Words  

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This page A Scheme for abolishing all Words is part of the linguistics series. Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)
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This page A Scheme for abolishing all Words is part of the linguistics series.
Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Since Words are only Names for Things ... it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them ... things" is a dictum by Jonathan Swift recorded in Gulliver's Travels. The scene takes place in Balnibarbi.

"[...] a Scheme for entirely abolishing all Words whatsoever: And this was urged as a great Advantage in Point of Health as well as Brevity. [...] An Expedient was therefore offered, that since Words are only Names for Things, it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them, such Things as were necessary to express the particular Business they are to discourse on. [...] many of the most Learned and Wise adhere to the new Scheme of expressing themselves by Things; which hath only this Inconvenience attending it; that if a Man's Business be very great, and of various Kinds, he must be obliged in Proportion to carry a greater Bundle of Things upon his Back [...] Another great Advantage proposed by this Invention, was, that it would serve as an universal Language to be understood in all civilized Nations, whose Goods and Utensils are generally of the same Kind, or nearly resembling, so that their Uses might easily be comprehended."[1]

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