The ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, the computer’s binary language, the codes & ciphers used by Government & Defense organizations, etc., all explain the need of a secret language by various social groups in our world.
Remember when as a kid, you had your very own ‘secret language’ which you & only a select group of friends shared? Whenever you wanted to talk about a particular student, teacher, subject or anything for that matter, you could happily converse in your coded language without having to worry about anyone hearing or rather understanding it. I clearly remember mine. My friends & I used this one code very often & it’s still dear to me 🙂 ’1/Cos C’ did you get it? For those of you all who loved Trigonometry like me, would have guessed it by now. Nevertheless, let me decode it for you – the Secant or Sec function is 1/Cosine or Cos, so ‘1/Cos C’ becomes ‘Sec C’ 😀 Needless to say it was a hush-hush when the Math. Teacher was around.
Another favorite was ‘Mercury’. As we know its an element of periodic table. How it found place in our secret language?
Hint 1: the term Mercury was used by us when saw a good looking boy in school.
Hint 2(this will spill the beans, still): the symbol for Mercury in periodic table is ‘Hg’.
Still didn’t get it? OK I know it sounds nerdy but it actually isn’t, its funny – whenever we saw a Handsome guy in the school campus & didn’t wish other girls to see him we would nudge each other secretly saying ‘Mercury’ The secret grin on our faces with that word, always left the other girls puzzled and ambiguous & we absolutely loved that! The unrealized advantage of this highly confidential language was that we were actually studying, remembering, and revising what we learned at school. And further brainstorming, thinking & creatively adding to the vocabulary of our secret language! Obviously studying (at least for this purpose) was fun!!
I had a few friends who worked with the Sales & Marketing team for the company’s U.S. clients. They had to avidly use phonetic alphabet on most of their calls. The epitome of this interesting practice was its usage otherwise. Once I was at a coffee shop with my friend Tia. Her ex boyfriend walked in. Immediately she blurted out “Gosh! She is the third girl he is hooked up with in just 2 months of our break-up! Alpha-Sierra-Sierra!” I looked at them, wondering how could Tia possibly learn this third girl’s name so soon. Looking at my perplexed face, she chuckled & said “It’s ‘S’ as in Sierra… and you never believed in the advantages of learning phonetics.” The next instant we burst out laughing.
Code-decode, encrypt-decrypt, cipher-decipher call it whatever – has always succeeded in getting one’s attention absolutely undivided. It simply proves over & over that human brain is an incredible thing, has evolved over the time, amazingly, interestingly each time & still continues to do so.