Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Literature: Great Ship's Language

Hoists of bunting broke out at yardarms, ascended to mast heads, hovered a minute or two, and came down in rainbow curves where flagship talked to flagship. A shore signal station was speaking in white flashes that dazzled you even in the strong sunshine; and between ship and ship of the same squadron minute conversations, visible only through a strong glass, were being carried ceaselessly on by the busy tossing arms of semaphores and by the small flags that a signalman, perched on the rail of a bridge like a fly, was waving to his opposite number in the next ship.

What were they all saying?

~ Filson Young (find his groundbreaking book Titanic, published in 1912, here)

Header: Lake Scene by George W. Maynard via American Gallery


Timmy! said...

People always seem to come up with creative methods of communication, Pauline.

Pauline said...

We're special, thumbs and all.

irwin said...

Even though it was the 1900s, more like:

Got any fresh spuds?

What can u trade?

More fresh beef than we can eat!

Pauline said...

Good point, irwin!

I saw a curious novel - YA no less - at a book fair recently in which zombies are the cause of the Titanic sinking. I wonder if they're all Irish?