It was probably back in the '70s when I was looking at The Next Whole Earth Catalog. That was the one that made the title of The Last Whole Earth Catalog a bit inaccurate, sort of like Douglas Adams did to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy when he expanded it to four, then five, books. Anyway, what I saw in The Next Whole Earth Catalog was a story called "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut," written in something called Anguish Languish. This "language" was the invention of Professor Howard L. Chace, who used it to illustrate to his French language students that intonation is an important part of understanding another language. The story looks strange in written form, but makes more sense when read aloud.
In the early '90s I had some time on my hands, and I must've read "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" again because I got the idea of translating Clement C. Moore's classic Christmas poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" into Anguish Languish.
When I got a website through an ISP, I made a couple of pages for the Anguish Languish and English versions of the poem. I found some nice graphics to use as a border and background, plus some Thomas Nast illustrations. Moore's poem and Nast's illustrations have a lot to do with the way Americans think about Santa Claus. Both are in the public domain, and I think the pages I made then look pretty nice.
I was on Squidoo last year at this time, but I didn't make a lens for my Anguish Languish version. It's probably just as well. I've learned a whole lot more about making lenses look good, and I incorporated them into the lens I made today (Thursday). Hay Visage form Sane Ticklish on Squidoo doesn't have graphics quite as fancy as the earlier web pages, but I did find more Nast illustrations. I uploaded them to Flickr, and found that they fit nicely with either eight or twelve lines of the poem without breaking any lines. I had to adjust the size of the text a bit after the lens was first published because the editing window is a little wider than the published lens window. There were enough illustrations to allow for some to be used in the Anguish Languish version, and different ones to be used in the English version.
One line in the Anguish Languish version mentions "Sane Tick." You'll have to take a look at the lens to see how I incorporated that idea into it. Da-da! Da-da-da dwee dow!
In other activity on Squidoo, I put five additional videos into my Celtic Music: Alasdair Fraser lens and deleted the Alasdair Fraser video showcase. Alasdair is an incredible fiddler in the Scottish tradition who has teamed up in the past few years with one of his former students, Natalie Haas. The fiddle and cello go back a long way in Scottish music where they were frequently used to provide music for Scottish dancing. Under Natalie's bow, the cello really comes alive.
Tomorrow morning I get to do my first update for the recently made over Best Sellers lens. It'll be interesting to see how that works out.