Speak Eagle

The Secret Origin Revealed

Since so many people have been clamoring, begging to know the secret behind the origin of my first blog title (It Goes Without Saying), I thought I would finally reveal it to my reading audience (my husband, my mother-in-law, and you).  It’s one of those things that has been hiding here in my fingers, just itching to come out.  And I can’t stand it anymore.

In 1961, Norton Juster wrote his fabulous, creativity-inspiring book The Phantom Tollbooth.  And in 1990, my word-loving friend Mark Tunnell gave me my very own copy.  I laughed out loud as I read about Milo traveling to the town of Conclusions- the only way to get there is by jumping, the deep-seated duel between words and numbers, and the letter marketplace where one can taste different letters (the C is very crisp, the I is cold and refreshing, and the X tastes a bit like sawdust- not recommended).

In the town of Dictionopolis, Milo is invited to attend a royal banquet, and asks if he should take his car.

“Don’t need it,” replied the duke.

 “No use for it,” said the minister.

“Superfluous,” advised the count.

“Unnecessary,” stated the earl.

“Uncalled for,” cried the undersecretary.  “We’ll take our vehicle.”

“Conveyance.”

“Rig.”

“Charabanc.”

“Chariot.”

“Buggy.”

“Coach.”

“Brougham.”

“Shandrydan,” they repeated quickly in order, and pointed to a small wooden wagon.

“Oh dear, all those words again,” thought Milo as he climbed into the wagon with Tock [his watchdog] and the cabinet members.  “How are you going to make it move? It doesn’t have a…”

“Be very quiet,” advised the duke, “for it goes without saying.”

And sure enough, as soon as they were all quite still, it began to move quickly through the streets, and in a very short time they arrived at the royal palace (79).

And so, like the wooden wagon, many things go without saying.  But I’m going to say them anyway.

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