Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner


Originally posted on March 20, 2014

This is the sound of a spluttered Bl… a “raspberry” as a term for the sound made of slightly sticking out your tongue and making an impudent noise. Bbbbl is a sound  followed by a sort of soft or silent L. If you think about it, BbbbL  is one phoneme. It often is a sound that expresses impudence, or gives a “you stink” message at sports events. It can express mild disdain or tiredness, as an equivalent for saying “pish tush!”

It’s a funny sound, an undignified sound. But what struck me today is that it’s the “sound” that all the tree and flower buds are silently making to express their blossoming this springtime! I thought how funny it would be if the phoneme of bbblossoming expresses the childish delight  in coming forth. I looked more closely at some tree buds puffing out with the tips of leaves, and it seemed that each different petal or leaf was sort of saying a soft, plosive “b.”

In springtime, the buds of leaves and trees sort of bbbblossom. Once they get started, all you see is the blossom, but it’s the budding-blossoming I’m talking about, a process of multi-leaf puffing up and slightly, softly, birthing, gradually slowly bursting. It’s quite amazing if you can see it so. It expresses Spppprrrringtime. (Giggle.)

My name, “Blatner,” can begin with a soft spluttered Bbbbl sound. Pronouncing it thus is impossible with any dignity. What if my elf-name were indeed Bbbblatner, a silly raspberrry spluttery name. That would be consistent with an elfin identity.

Of course, for non-elfin, ordinary humans, I stay with the hard middle-European BL phoneme, often associated with Herr Doktor Blatner, for more formality. The other part of me is whatever the opposite of formality is—way beyond informal. Maybe a bit silly. Oh, well.

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