A Story by R J Fuller

What's left when everyone is catered to with their feelings?

"Attention, class. Attention. Now, who would like to start our reciting the alphabet? Hmm? How about you, Donny?" 

The small waif stood to his feet and walked to the front of the class. He turned and faced his fellow classmates once he reached the spot beside teacher's desk.

"Okay, Donny. You can begin whenever you like."

"A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, . . . . . "

"Oh, I'm sorry, Donny. We no longer refer to the letter I, because it denotes self-centeredness and selfishness, the exclusion of others. So try again." 

Donny looked at his teacher with bright blue eyes, then turned back to his classmates. He turned again to teacher. 

"Without the I?" he asked. She gave him a stern look and shook her head, pressing her finger to her lips. Donny took a deep breath. 

"A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, . . . . . H, J, K, L, M, N, . . . . "

"Oh, Donny, dear, because the letter L sounds like the Hispanic term of 'el' meaning 'he' giving way to a masculine connotation, we no longer use the letter L, because it is defining against others."

Donny looked at his teacher. 

"Don't use L?" 

Teacher shushed him. 

"N, . . . ," Donny started, then, began from the beginning. 

"A, B, C, D, E, . . . ."

"Donny, because the letter C sounds like 'see' it is now deemed as making blind people uneasy, so we don't refer to the letter C anymore."

Donny looked about his classroom at all the faces of children he knew from the start of school. He started again. 

"A, B, . . . D, E, F, G, H, J, . . . "

"Donny, I do hate to interrupt you, but we no longer use the letter G in the alphabet because it sounds like 'gee' a term of exclamation or unexpected surprise, which can be unsettling toward the person who is the cause of the surprise, making them feel self-conscious." 

Donny wavered a bit. He took a deep breath again, then looked to teacher, and back to the class. 

"A, B, . . . . . . "

"Oh, Donny, people who have entomophobia, fear of insects or even allergic to bee stings may find the letter B making them uneasy with their own physical condition, which is none of their fault, so we don't want to make them uncomfortable with the letter B, so no longer use that one, Donny." 


More silence. 

"Whenever you are ready, Donny." 

"A, . . . . . D, E, F, . . . . . H, J, . . . . K, . . . . . M, N, . . . . "

"Donny, because the letter K sounds like the Latino word que, which means 'what', the usage of K then implies failure to understand, especially toward the Hispanic community, so we can't have the letter K anymore." 

"A, . . . . ."


"Um, . . . . A, D, E, F, H, J, . . . M, N, . . . O, . . . P, . . ."

"Donny, since the letter O, much like G, sounds like the idea of surprise, it has been determined to be unsettling for someone if another person exclaims "oh" at them, so it can be construed as making them uncomfortable with such a declaration, so we don't use O anymore."


"Can I . . . . ?"

"Yes, Donny, go right ahead."

"A, . . D, E, . . . F, . . . H, . . . J, . . . M, N, . . . . "

"Because the letter N sounds like the word 'in' it describes someone as being in, meaning there are those who are left out, so we don't want exclusivity. We want everyone to feel included, so we don't say the letter N anymore."

"A, . . . D, . . . . "

"The letter D when spoken sounds just like the German word for 'the' which is spelled the same as 'die' so it can be very uneasy for certain people to hear 'die' in German as this, so we won't use that letter anymore." 

"No, . . . no more . . . . D?"

"Shush, shush," teacher said, shaking her head. Donny turned once more to the class. 

"A, E, F, . . . H, . . J, . . . M, . . . P, . . . "

"Donny, because the letter P sounds like the process of urination, we don't want to conjure up any thoughts in the mind of behavior with that letter, so we'll no longer use the letter P."

Donny stared off blankly, as tho he were thinking. 

"Something wrong, Donny?"

"What about the pea?"

"No, no, Donny."

"The plant, the pea, like we eat?" Beyond the state of total confusion by now, Donny mimicked eating with a utensil. 

"Pea the vegetable?"

"Yes, ma'm." 

"That should be offensive to people who have a loved one in a vegetative state, in a coma, so we won't refer to the letter P anymore."

"The, . . . " Donny started, then decided not to bother. 

"Whenever you're ready, Donny."

"A, E, F, . . . H, . . J, . . M, . . . Q, . . R, . . . "

"The letter R sounds like 'our' meaning this is ours, not yours, and that implies selfishness, possessiveness and we don't want to encourage that conduct, so we won't use the letter R anymore."


". . . Q, . . S, um."

Silence again. 

"I'll start over."

"Yes, just start over."

"A, . . . E, . . F, . . H, . . J, . . . M, . . Q, . . "

"Donny, the letter Q in the British dialogue sounds like 'queue' which describes standing in line, which suggests neediness. We don't want to emphasize people as being needy by standing in line, so we won't use the letter Q anymore."

"A, . . . E, . . F, . . H, . . J, . . M, . . . S, . . . T, . . . , " then Donny stopped and looked to the teacher. He can guess what this one will be. 

"Donny, the letter U conjures up the idea of singling someone out as 'you' and we don't want someone to feel put on the spot like that, so U is no longer recited in the alphabet."

Deep breath. 

"A, . . E, . . F, . . H, . . . J, . . M, . . S, . . . T, . . . V, . . . "

"Donny, the letter V is offensive."

Donny looked at his teacher. 

"Why?" he whispered. He then turned and looked at the class.  

"We don't know yet, but it just is so don't use it." 

Another slow inhale. 

"A, . . E, . . . ."

"Donny, the letter E is used to describe screaming, with several Es depicted in unison, and this means someone is afraid, and we don't want to encourage fear, especially at something not understood."

"A, . . . f, . . H, . . . J, . . M, . . . S, . . . "

"The letter S written several times in a row implies the hissing sound of snakes and people with herpetophobia can become upset at the insinuation, so we don't want to upset them, so we'll no longer use the letter S in the alphabet."

Donny stretched back where he stood and slowly brought himself back around. 

"Ready, Donny?"

"Yes, ma'm," he answered quietly. 

"A, . . . F, . . . H, . . . J, . . . M, . . . T, . . . W, X, Y, . . . "

He almost made it. 

"Donny, the letter Y sounds like asking why, which means someone isn't getting the answer they need. They are uninformed, so we won't say Y anymore in the alphabet."

"A, . . . F, . . H, . . J, . . . M,T, . . . W, . . ."

"Donny, it's insulting to use the letters M and T together. It sounds like empty, evoking the idea someone doesn't have any possessions or basic common sense, if their head is empty, so we won't use them anymore."


Donny looked around and blinked. 

"A, . . . F, . . . H, . . . J, . . . W, . . . X, . . . "

"Donny, we don't like the letter X, as it indicates incorrectness or something as being socially wrong by today's standards."

Donny swallowed, then inhaled one more time. 

"A, . . . F, . . . H, . . . J, . . . "

"Because the letter F has as of lately been used as a form of abbreviation for , . . Donny, are you listening?"

"Yes, ma'm."

"Because the letter F has been used as an abbreviation for a term of profanity, as in effin' uncalled-for, we feel that F on its own can be taken just as much in a startling manner, so we aren't including that letter from now on."

"So don't use F?"

"Don't use F."

"A, . . . . H, . . . J, . . . W, . . . "

"Donny, since we deemed V as offensive, the W is two Vs together, so that is twice offensive, so we don't want to include W in the alphabet anymore." 

Donny sniffed. 

"A, . . H, . . "

"It has been determined," teacher began, "that the symbol of H is derived from a fence post. This means someone is being refused admittance and we don't like the suggestion of such conduct, so the letter H will no longer be necessary in the alphabet."

The room was silent. Donny had to think a bit. 

A, . . . . . . J, . .  "

"Donny, Donny, I'm afraid the letter J because it can have different sounds in both Spanish dialects and German dialects, this may contribute to confusion, which we don't want to be responsible for, so the letter J will no longer be included in the alphabet."

Not a single student in the room ever smiled or laughed at Donny. They were all trying to take it in as well, and Donny, poor Donny, was having to lead them. They looked to him for guidance. 

"Gonna recite the alphabet," he said with flushed cheeks.

"A, . . . . . . . . "

"Donny, the conclusion has been reached that the letters A and Z indicate going first as a privilege and last being at the end is cruel to be regarded in such a manner, so we will no longer be including those letters when reciting the alphabet." 

Donny's blue eyes looked ahead, but saw absolutely nothing. 

"Okay, Donny," teacher said, "you can recite the alphabet for everyone whenever you are ready."  

© 2021 R J Fuller

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Added on April 16, 2021
Last Updated on April 16, 2021
Tags: offensiveness, cancel culture, incorrect, no longer use