Monday, 6 June 2011

One Hundrelth Birthdale

Dearlymost boyls and girms, laydles and gentleboles.

Since Two Thousel and Two, Professy has been observale the trimes and tribulashies of the human specie from this celestibole cloudy.  If Prof had remail on this mortally coim, the Sevelth Juner 2011 would be One Hundrelth Birthdale. Deep joy!

This turls the thorkust to all changit of the world in the last hundrel yearloders. Some of these innovale or invenshy have been most positile, with powery flightloder all gravity-defile in the skybold, tellybocker transmitty image and audiole from the far-flummery corms of the glober, and tipp-ex. Oh yes.

This auspishy centurale also sees the passy of gloomier thorkus there; Adolfy Hitloder, Traffy Wardels, AOL, AOR and AOB, and, of course, Simolly Cowers all smugloder on the facebole and hairstyley like chimpanzoo's borkus. Deep folly.

Well, Prof is prepare for celebrale all vicarious there through the mediole of his Earthly Scrile who will raise a tilty-elbow and wish you all a delightymost tile.  Oh yes.


A few worms from The Scrile falollow:

If you have a few spare moments, indulge my urge to step out of character as “Professy’s Earthly Scrile” (posting on Twitter as @ProfessorUnwin) and make a few observations about ‘Professor’ Stanley Unwin on what would have been his 100th birthday.
Stanley was born on 7th June, 1911 in Pretoria, South Africa (I won’t try to reproduce any of the numerous biographies that already exist on the web.)  100 years later, even though he passed away in 2002, he is fondly remembered as an entertainer, an enthusiastic advocate for music and science, and for the creation of his own unique form of gobbledygook; ‘Unwinese’. But most of all, those of us who remember him do so for his overwhelming sense of. .  well, joy. 
No matter the subject, the occasion, or the medium through which we saw, watched or read his extraordinary pronunciations, we were always made to feel up-beat and appreciate the beauty and happiness the world has to offer.
So, on what would have been our beloved Professor’s 100th Birthday, here are a few observations (general and personal) about Stanley.
Firstly; a myth must be debunked.  Stanley was not instrumental in getting Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ into print. That was an unrelated ‘Sir Stanley Unwin’ of Unwin & Unwin publishers.  Not the same chap at all. Oh no. Deep folly.
Next, I will respond to umpteen questions I receive every week about ‘Unwinese Grammar’.  
Well, the simple truth is there isn’t such a thing.  Unwinese doesn’t follow hard and fast rules (and as a former linguist and occasional show-off polyglot, I know quite a lot about grammatical and syntactical rules).  Yes, there are conventions and norms that resonate, but adding ‘loder’ and ‘lopper’ to words doesn’t guarantee an Unwinese sentence.  As others have pointed out, it’s the sound; the rhythm and flow, the pace and the music of Stanley’s language that makes Unwinese.  
His children have more than once referred to their hope for a guide to Unwinese, but having spent countless hours listening, I would find it impossible to determine why one sentence might sound right with the word ‘evelubrius’, when another would have to use ‘eveloder’.   Erudite scholars of music can point out that minor keys can inspire pathos and sorrow, and staccato arpeggios often sound ‘chirpy, but even they have never managed to come up with definitive rules on the subject. So, in my opinion, is the case with Unwinese. If there is a rule; it’s this. “If it doesn’t make you smile, it’s probably not Unwinese”.
I have to acknowledge that there are more capable and talented Unwinists than yours truly (If you really want to be reminded of the Professor’s sounds, follow @John_Ranson on Twitter – a man who captures Stanley’s tone beautifully).  Anyone who has listened to ‘Rotatey Diskers With Stanley Unwin’ (still available on CD – search your favourite online store) can pick holes in my ham-fisted attempts to recreate the language.  I do try (most of my Unwinese tweets have gone through two or three edits to find the right metre or tone), but I work within two clear constraints; one imposed (140 characters or fewer), and one self-imposed (it has to be happy and/or funny and sound like something Stanley would say).
Finally, I do get the occasional message challenging my right to be channelling the Professor’s “inner thorkus from the grale beyondy” on Twitter.  I don’t have a response. I’ve made it known that I would love to hear from his family (he merits more of a tribute than a few fan-sites, a Wiki entry and a homage on Twitter, and a comprehensive biography is long overdue), but I don’t tweet on any authority. I do so because nobody else was, and the thousands of followers pay testament to the affection in which the old gaffer is held.
So, join with me in raising a tilty-elbow to the adored, and much-missed Stanley Unwin. 
Oh, and as to who I am.  It really doesn't matter.
Goodly byelode!