A Story of Over 50,000 Words
Without Using the Letter �E�
by Ernest Vincent Wright
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 . 21 . 22
23 . 24 . 25 . 26 . 27 . 28 . 29 . 30 . 31 . 32 . 33 . 34 . 35 . 36 . 37 . 38 . 39 . 40 . 41 . 42
introduction by the author
THE ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT of this story was written with the E type-bar of the typewriter tied down; thus making it impossible for that letter to be printed. This was done so that none of that vowel might slip in, accidentally; and many did try to do so!
There is a great deal of information as to what Youth can do, if given a chance; and, though it starts out in somewhat of an impersonal vein, there is plenty of thrill, rollicking comedy, love, courtship, marriage, patriotism, sudden tragedy, a determined stand against liquor, and some amusing political aspirations in a small growing town.
In writing such a story, �purposely avoiding all words containing the vowel E, there are a great many difficulties. The greatest of these is met in the past tense of verbs, almost all of which end with ��ed.� Therefore substitutes must be found; and they are very few. This will cause, at times, a somewhat monotonous use of such words as �said;� for neither �replied,� �answered� nor �asked� can be used. Another difficulty comes with the elimination of the common couplet �of course,� and its very common connective, �consequently ;� which will� unavoidably cause �bumpy spots.� The numerals also cause plenty of trouble, for none between six and thirty are available. When introducing young ladies into the story, this is a real barrier; for what young woman wants to have it known that she is over thirty? And this restriction on numbers, of course taboos all mention of dates."