What is Anguish Languish?
As the reader can immediately see from the name itself, it is a method of replacing original English words with other English words that have the same or similar sounds, although the meanings are usually completely different. Hence English language becomes Anguish Languish. So, in essence, it is a phonetic game. And anyone who cares to render any original English text into Anguish Languish is certainly welcome to give it a try. Its not only a lot of fun but a great method of increasing ones vocabulary.
No official rules exist for the playing of this game, but those who consider themselves proficient at it will agree that the main requirement is to use real English words to replace the original ones, and that the closer the author can come to the sound of the original words, the better the chance that the reader will be able to associate them accurately with the meaning of the original text. Of course, to aid in the comprehension of the Anguish Languish rendition, the pronunciation of the words must be exactly as the reader sees them on the page, while the intonation of the original sentence must be maintained. Thats why we strongly suggest that Anguish Languish be read aloud!
The desired result of an artful Anguish Languish piece is that it will not only reflect a rich knowledge of English vocabulary and some degree of creativity on the part of the author, but that the actual juxtaposition of the replacement words will bring a smile, or even a hearty guffaw, to the reader. So to that extent, such a piece is meant to be a healthy combination of phonetics and fun.
About the origin of Anguish Languish
In 1956 Howard L. Chace published his book, ANGUISH LANGUISH, to the delight of people throughout the United States. One particular selection of that book, was an Anguish Languish version of a traditional fairy tale fairy tale which he had written in 1940, entitled Ladle Rat Rotten Hut (Little Red Riding Hood). This little story initially thrilled nationwide audiences when the famous comedian Arthur Godfrey read it on the air for his vast audience to hear.
To see a video of "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut," recorded by A. Dennis Mead, author of Crisp Musk Hair Oils...
Dr. Chace, a professor of French, used Anguish Languish both as a form of humor and to demonstrate that the vocal inflection of spoken English is almost as significant as the meaning of the words themselves. He apparently wanted to demonstrate that if one incorrect word (which is close in pronunciation to the correct word) can be substituted in a sentence without destroying the readers understanding, why not all the words!
About the author of Crisp Musk Hair Oils
Dr. Mead is a linguist, phonetician, polyglot (Dont worry; its not contageous!), and former professor of foreign languages at Indiana University, then subsequently, an international communications consultant. He speaks several languages. To quote the author himself, as he explains in the language of this book, "Ice-picks heaven languishes, ink lewd ding: Rush- on, Fringe, Nor-wee-chin, Deign-niche, In-glitch, Germ-men, Sweet-itch, anal ladle Spinach, end off curse, Anguish Languish! Offal disk languishes, eye half morph Hun whiff Anguish Languish thin whiff faulty udders scum bind!"
With almost every book ever published, some critics will find it well written, worthwhile, and recommended reading, while others will look at the same publication and point out its flaws and failings. The author expects that the same will be true of this book. While we hope that most readers will appreciate the humor shown by the richness of vocabulary in the English language, others may very well view it as an inappropriate attempt at making light of sacred songs and traditional values.
In advance response to such comments, the author would like to make a couple of points. First, a note about Anguish Languish itself. It is of course, not a recognized language in the sense that we usually consider languages. It is a tool meant to accomplish two main goals; first, to bring a little humor and fun into the lives of people who often take things too seriously, and second to show the richness of the English language and its flexibility.
It is the author's hope that the group singing of the Crisp Musk Hair Oils in this book will bring a smile, a laugh, and a bit of holiday cheer to all who enjoy a good time together.