This is the foreword to my book, by Pulitzer Prize winning author Professor Harrison Solow.
Deciphering the English Code, by Joseph Aronesty, takes readers on an extraordinary
adventure into etymology, mystery, culture and metaphysics—indeed, a thoroughgoing intellectual challenge.
With an approach to the subject of language echoing works as diverse as Ruth
Gendler’s The Book of Qualities, Joel Davis’s Mother Tongue, James Lipton’s An
Exultation of Larks and Noam Chomsky’s Universal Grammar Theory, Aronesty’s own
contribution ensues from the premise that “all languages are based on a particular
version of logic that is underscored by the sounds of their words, their history and their environment.” Deciphering the English Code goes beyond experimental phonetics to encompass tribal memory and the dynamics of articulatory development as the agents of inherent meaning.
This is a completely original study that engagingly, at times whimsically, but always
with committed depth, demonstrates how people make sense of the sounds they
instinctively utter. As Aronesty says, “I discovered a prehistoric world living inside our English language.”
This book does for the general reader what Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct
does for the scholar: it creates “a beautiful hymn to the infinite creative potential of
language.” It also delves back into a murky past—full of articulations before meaning,
and meaning before speech—all done with poetic flair, a prose cousin to Browning’s
“Caliban Upon Setebos.”
“Every language traces back to the first spoken language,” Aronesty maintains.
“We—all of us—are one people, with one original spoken language, diffused over time.”
What Aronesty lacks in formal academic credentials he replaces with imaginative
speculation and lifelong research, which, oddly, have led him to conclusions similar
to those of respected academicians, including Noam Chomsky, whose interest in
Aronesty’s project sparked an ongoing correspondence about Deciphering the English
Code that continues today.
In his book, Aronesty explains that English letters are hieroglyphs for an original
language code that existed at what he calls “the Dawn of Speak”—a code that has barely changed over more than 100,000 years. “Clues as to the state of mind of our original ancestors are packed into every word.” What is most intriguing about Deciphering the English Code is the opportunity for readers to decipher themselves—to see the first building blocks of the thought-word conjunction integrated into not only English, but all tongues.