Our Own Private Ptydepe

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ghostwriter.”

“You have a unique conversational style.”

When two or more of our inner circle members get together, the conversation can be dizzying to an outsider.  Only a few of us have known each other most of our lives, many members are recent additions within the last five years.  The conversation quickly shifts.  Sentences began by one person are finished by another, without missing a beat.  There are words and phrases uttered that carry layers of meaning.  Bits from other languages.  Add in medical terminology, ten codes, and some TLA speak.  Garnish and serve.

After working on a production of The Memorandum with the Theater Arts at Caltech, we began referring to this hodgepodge sublanguage jokingly as our own private ptydepe.  The odd thing about this?  Newer recruits to the inner circle, regardless of background, are fluent in just a month.  If that isn’t an upsell for learning through immersion, i don’t know what is!

The ghostwriter would have to be a combination of Václav Havel (black comedy), Charles Michael “Chuck” Palahniuk (minimalistic/critical path/the temporal end), and Aaron Sorkin (rapid-fire dialogue).  

Periodically, I’ll post something from Our Own Private Ptydepe and tag it as such.


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