Rejection Letters

By Karen Jeynes

I have a confession to make. Of the 26 letters in the alphabet there are a few I really don’t like. Not at all. As a writer, I work with these letters on a daily basis, and I’ve come to know their quirks and foibles. And a few really hack me off. I know, I know, one should love all one’s children equally, but really, I have reached the end of my tether with a few of them.

I think I have a valid case for wanting to veto “V”. You might think it very vile of me to voice my dislike so plainly. I think our troubles began virtually the day I started playing Scrabble. Far from spelling victory, “V” was a veritable harbinger of doom. “V” is not a virtuoso. If I were to give it a report card I’d scribble ‘Does not play well with others’. I’d scan the board vaguely, in the vain hope of finding a vacant spot. And worse than one “V” is two. Far from thinking ‘viva!’, my response now is to rush down a ‘via’ or ‘avo’ as fast as possible, then heave a vast sigh of relief. But enough vitriolic “V” vilification, who shall be my next victim?


Continuing my countdown of cursed letters, we come to “C”. I blame my parents for this one. As a child, countless times I was forced to correct those clamouring to spell my name with a “C”. I grew to think “K” was cleaner, had more cachet. And then there’s “C”s cocky conceit of copying the pronunciation of just about any letter it chooses. Sometimes it’s a “K”, sometimes an “S”, next thing it’s round the back of the bikeshed with “H” being all hush-hush. And it contrives to order the other letters about, with its ‘I before E except after ME’ crassness. The crux of it is, without wanting to seem too critical, I’d happily see this letter casually struck off the class register. But come, dear reader, you – like Macbeth – must be ‘untimely ripped’ from this C-section as I move on to another culprit.

Yes, there’s one last letter which I’m giving a failing grade to. “Y”, you see, is a bit of a yawn. It yearns to be a consonant, yet continuously yells ‘I’m a vowel!’ as it lures you into its abyss. A yellow-bellied coward, young “Y” tends to hang out at the end of words, making you angry and hungry, yet this bully doesn’t stay around long enough to be past-tense, leaving that job to ignominious “I” in bullied, sullied, hurried, and all those other nasty tasks. Yaks and yachts aside, “Y” is yesterday’s news, and has yanked my chain too many times. All I want for yuletide is an apology.

There are a few I am keeping an eye on. I’m thinking of telling “Q” he can’t sit next to “U” anymore, that relationship is becoming unhealthy. And “P” and “H” must stop sneaking around imitating poor “F”. On the bright side, maybe this’ll be the year that “S” and “Z” cease their transatlantic war, and stop sizing each other up with such zest? We live in hope.

The other letters, I’m pretty happy with – I’d hate to be accused of character assassination.

Karen Jeynes

About Karen Jeynes

Karen Jeynes (@karenjeynes) is a playwright, dramaturg, wordsmith, proponent of the Oxford comma, and collector of words. She has been known to rub her hands with girlish glee on discovering a new one. She experiences high levels of angst over misplaced apostrophes, sometimes having to have a bit of a lie down. She is perilously partial to puns. And also alliteration.


15 Responses to “Rejection Letters”

  1. As an out and proud C who grew up rejecting those who spelled my name with a K, I beg for leniency on behalf of my versatile initial.

  2. It’s quite a complex conundrum, Caryn, I’ll contemplate your case carefully.

  3. If you continue to think like this, victory will never be yours!

  4. Very vexing of you to comment so viciously, Xave :-)

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