Please Try This At Home: Fun With Language
When I was a kid, my family loved word games—Scrabble, Anagrams a now sadly long-forgotten game from Parker Brothers called Probe. We would banter in puns and parody and in our home being quick-witted was the same as being a sports star.
So, I want to introduce you to something that I hope you’ll read to your family—and that you’ll all get a huge kick out of. It’s the story of “Little Red Riding Hood,” but retold in a new language, called Anguish. Anguish is, of course, a made up language, and it was developed in the 1940’s, and Howard L. Chace who made it up used only English word. As he said, the design of the language was to “demonstrate the marvelous versatility of language, in which anything can, if necessary be made to mean something else. In fact, Anguish is made up of only established English words, but when strung together and read aloud, they sound like something else.
That’s how “Little Red Riding Hood” became “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.” Read it aloud. See? If you got a child 8 years or older in your home (Third grade and onwards or so.), they will be mesmerized, as you will be by how well this works—and how hysterical it is. One trick you can try is that once you get the sense of what you’re saying, try reading the story with the appropriate inflection as if the words were in traditional English. We have yet to see anyone not dissolve in hilarity doing this.
So here you go:
LADLE RAT ROTTEN HUT
Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner
ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge dock florist. Disc ladle gull orphan
worry ladle rat cluck wetter putty ladle rat hut an fur disc raisin pimple
colder ladle rat rotten hut. Wan moaning ladle rat rotten hut’s murder
“Ladle rat rotten hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an
shirker cockles. Tick disc ladle basking tudor cordage offer groin murder
hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake, dun daily doily
inner florist, dun stopper laundry wrote, an yonder nor sorghum stenches,
dun stopper torque wet strainers.”
” Hoe-cake, murder,” resplendent ladle rat rotten hut, an tickle ladle
basking an stuttered oft. Honor wrote tudor cordage offer groin murder,
ladle rat rotten hut mitten anomalous woof.
“Wail, wail, wail,” set disc wicket woof, “Effavescent ladle rat rotten
hut! Wares or putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?”
“Armour goring tumor groin murder’s,” reprisal ladle gull. “Grammar’s
seeking bet. Armour ticking arson burden barter an shirker cockles.”
“O hoe! Heifer pheasant woke,” setter wicket woof, butter taught tomb
shelf, “Oil tickle shirt court tudor cordage offer groin murder. Oil
ketchup wetter letter, an den, O bore!”
Soda wicket woof tucker shirt court an whinny wretched a cordage offer
groin murder, picked inner windrow an sore debtor pore oil worming worse
lion inner bet. Inner flesh disc abdominal woof lipped honor bet, pouched
honor pore oil worming an garbled erupt. Dinner corn turntable woof pot
honor groin murder’s nut cup an gnat gun, any curdled dope inner bet.
Inner ladle wile, ladle rat rotten hut a raft altar cordage an ranker
“Comb ink, sweat hard,” setter wicket woof, disgracing is verse.
Ladle rat rotten hut entity bet rum an stud buyer groin murder’s bet. “Oh,
grammar,” crater ladle gull, “Wart bag icier gut! A nervous sausage bag
“Buttered lucky chew whiff, doling,” sneakered disc ratchet woof wetter
“Oh, grammar, water bag noise! A nervous sore suture anomalous prognosis!”
“Buttered small your whiff,” inserter woof; ants mouse worse waddling.
“Oh, grammar, water bag mousy gut! A nervous sore suture bag mouse!”
Doze worry forger nut ladle gull’s lest warts. Oil offer sodden, caking
offer carvers on sprinkling otter bet, disc curl an bloat Thursday woof
ceased pore ladle rat rotten hut an garbled erupt.
Mural: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet
And, if you want to read it in traditional English, here it is:
Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived with her mother in a little cottage on the edge of a large dark forest. This little girl often wore a little cloak with a pretty little red hat, and for this reason people called her Little Red Riding Hood.
One morning Red Riding Hood’s mother called her and said: “Little Red Riding Hood, here is a little basket with some bread and butter and sugar cookies. Take this little basket to the cottage of grandmother who lives on the other side of the forest. Shake a leg, don’t stop along the road, and under no circumstances don’t stop to talk with strangers.”
“Okay. Mother,” responded Little Red Riding, and took a little basket and started off. On the road to the cottage of her grandmother, Little Red Riding Hood met an enormous wolf.
“Well, well, well,” said this wicked wolf, “if it isn’t Little Red Riding Hood! Where’s our pretty little girl going with her little basket?”
I’m going to my grandmother’s,” replied the little girl. “Gramma’s sick in bed. I’m taking her some bread and butter and sugar cookies.”
“Oh ho! Have a pleasant walk,” said the wicked wolf, but he thought to himself, “I’ll take this short cut to the cottage of her grandmother. I’ll catch up with her later, and then—Oh boy!”
So the wicked wolf took a short cut, and when he reached the cottage of her grandmother, peeked in her window and saw that poor old woman was lying in her bed. In a flash this abominable wolf leaped on her bed and ate her up. And he put on a grandmother’s night cap and night gown, and he curled up in her bed.
In a little while Little Red Riding Hood arrived at the cottage and rang the door.
“Come in, sweet heart,” said the wicked wolf, disguising his voice. Little Red Riding Hood entered the bedroom and stood by her grandmother’s bed.
“Oh grandma,” cried the little girl. “What big eyes you’ve got! I never saw such big eyes!” “Better to look at you, darling,” whispered this wretched wolf, with a wicked smile.
“Oh, grandma, what a big nose! A never saw such an enormous proboscis !”
“Better to smell you with,” answered the wolf, his mouth watering.
“Oh grandma, what a big mouth you’ve got! I never saw such a big mouth!”
These were the unfortunate girl’s last words. All of a sudden throwing off the covers and springing out of bed, this cruel and bloodthirsty wolf seized poor Little Red Riding Hood and gobbled her up.
Moral: Under no circumstances should little girls stop and talk with strangers.
Oh, and don’t blame me if you and your kids start saying, “Hoe cake, murder,” and start laughing uncontrollably. Have fun!