Dr. Akiki K. Nyabongo was an East African prince who lived in Brooklyn and had an ambition to write a book about Ebito, or flower language, which was "a symbolic method of communication among his compatriots, involving the use of flowers, leaves, grass, seeds, twigs, clay, beads, animal hair, and stones." (New Yorker - Jan 26, 1952).
I don't think his book was ever published. However, he did author a short article (below) about the Flower Language, which ran in the journal Folklore (Dec 1938).
According to this article, if you give someone a piece of Asparagus puberulus it means:
June 19, 1923: The State of Illinois passed an act declaring "American" (as opposed to "English") to be the state's official language.
The act was proposed by Senator Frank J. Ryan of Chicago who was "fed up" with American being called English. Ryan, in turn, got the idea from Montana Congressman Washington McCormick, who had tried, but failed, to get American designated as the national language.
In 1969 the Illinois legislature revised the statute to make English, not American, the official state language.
Leonso Canales of Kingsville, Texas began his campaign to replace the greeting "Hello" with the less satanic "Heaveno" in 1988, but he got really serious about it in 1997 when he placed ads in the local paper showing the word "Hello" scratched out and replaced with "Heaveno." That same year, his campaign received official support when the commissioners of Kleberg County voted unanimously to designate "Heaveno" as the county's official greeting.
According to wikipedia, there are only four full-length films shot entirely in Esperanto. One of these four is the 1966 black-and-white horror film Incubus, starring William Shatner.
The film had an LA premiere, but then, partly because of the Esperanto dialogue, it never found a distributor except in France and fell into obscurity. For years it was believed that all copies of the film had disappeared, until the 1990s when a copy was found in France.
Back in 1978, Lidia Mostovy was chosen to deliver the valedictory address at the 99th commencement of Frank H. Morrell High School, so she decided to give it in Latin. Her speech began: "Olim Alexander Magnus dixit: 'Meis parentibus vitam debeo, meis magistris, vitam bonam.'"
She explained that she "wanted to add dignity to the graduation exercises and... draw attention to the high school's Latin program. 'A lot of people ask why take Latin — you're not going to use it. So now I will.'"
Since I took Latin throughout high school, and even participated in our high school's Latin play, I'm sympathetic to what she did. And I guess it probably wasn't any more or less boring than any other high school valediction, just because no one could understand it.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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