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Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Sad Story

Look at these Bulgarians, tragic glasses, mullets and all, celebrating Cyril and Methodius Day on 24 May. Those two doughty gents gave the world the Cyrillic alphabet, yet who today dares to speak of the martyrdom of the Russian letter yat? Not Robert Conquest, not Solzhenitsyn. Calls for its elimination began in the eighteenth century. Why? Linguists argued that yat was indistinguishable from e; they lied and lied again in their blind hatred for yat, in thrall to their Masonic-led campaign of terror and hate. Nicholas I tried to suppress it and failed. Yat kept its head down, but reckoned without the Red apocalypse that would seal its fate at last. Poland offered yat political asylum; Bukharin attempted to intercede with Lenin; Akhmatova and Pasternak circulated impassioned poetic pleas for its life; but all to no avail. In the bitterly cold winter of 1918 yat was shot like a common criminal behind a disused grain silo on the outskirts of Norilsk. Only a humble peasant shrine marks the spot today.

The Norilsk yat shrine

But the people would not believe that yat was gone. 'Long and impassioned essays' were written in its defence, according to Wikipedia. With the fall of the USSR, 'that most Russian of letters' (Wikipedia again) made sporadic appearances in retro brandnames, but 'almost no one knew its proper usage', such was the state of post-communist ignorance.

The guilty silence has gone on long enough: the time for rehabilitation has come. Sons and daughters of Russia (and Bulgarians too), come to your yat's defence. Canonisation by the Orthodox church is another possibility. Let the bolsheviks be called to account for their alphabet crimes. Yat yat yat. Say it with pride!

In Yat we trust (photo posed by a model)

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