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vowels : consonants, possibility : necessity


The consonants are for the most part tolerably distinctly reproduced, but the vowels not yet to an equal degree.

ex report by Sylvanus P. Thompson (1851-1916, *) on On Telephony by the Galvanic Current, a memoir by Philip Reis, in his article The First Telephone. The Telegraphic Journal and Electrical Review (June 16, 1883), pp 492-94

If losing oneself in possibility may be compared with a child’s utterance of vowel sounds, then lacking possibility would be the same as being dumb. The necessary is like pure consonants, but to express them there must be possibility. If this is lacking, if human existence is brought to the point where it lacks possibility, then it is in despair and is in despair every moment it lacks possibility.
— Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death (1849)

2 October 2012
tags: consonants; current, galvanic; despair; possibility; vowels; Søren Kierkegaard; Sylvanus P. Thompson