I woke up today and I was unable to properly understand spoken language. It was to me as the bird twittering in the trees. My morning ran like any other and I failed to notice this oddity of this development, or, indeed, the development itself until I arrived at work. Then it came upon me that although I could read and write nothing I heard, nor, as I could see, said, made sense any longer. I idly wondered how this might affect my life and sought help from those around me.
I consulted my colleagues who, rather surprisingly, understood me. It seemed that the problem was not with speaking English to my equals. One said that she thought I spoke quite well, almost surprisingly so. Another suggested, as he understood me rather well, that perhaps the problem was that I was not speaking Dokta – the lingua franca of our industry. I considered this option and briefly toyed with a plan to take a Dokta: For Business and Communication class at Tafe or some such establishment. I thought that this might help improve my Dokta speech as well as all things pertaining to Dokta.
Whilst planning such an epic of self improvement I was, as so frequently happens throughout my day, interrupted by the telephone. It was then that I realised that the linguistic poison had spread further than I had imagined and, despite my colleagues’ ability to understand my squawking, no-one else did. I gabbled away in what I thought was English and was ignored and spoken over and, as I assumed by the tone, bossed. O what horror it is to be quite unable to make yourself understood in your own tongue, or even with your own tongue! I do feel as a stranger in a horribly familiar land.