The Mystery Of The Vanishing Vowels

Today, April 1, at about 11:15 a.m., I was at Gmail’s homepage, and looked at it for no more than a blink, as I usually do. Then, I ran quickly inside my inbox. After taking the e-garbage out—for I only get junk mail—I came back, and looked at the homepage again.

Something was definitely amiss. And it wasn’t because I hadn’t forgotten to soak my lenses in solution last night.

No, they weren’t there: the vowels, the alphabetical quintet of a, e, i, o, and u. And in their absence, the text had the none too pleasing aura of an iguana, with its tail cut off. The words appeared weirdly crooked, dwarfish, and incomplete.

I learned from the Gmail blog that this was on account of what it called a “vowel outage.” Its techies, it assured, were working on the problem since Gmail took such “morphological issues extremely seriously.”

Don’t forget that it’s April Fools’ Day. Isn’t this a great spoof on today’s tech-induced communication style? Haven’t we seen such truncated, meaningless gibberish on text messages, Twitter, and Facebook? There are, sadly, some folks out there, who’ll be perennially vowel-deprived.


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