Monday, 23 April 2018


"A Whistler, with the slim frame and outsize wings of adolescence, emerged from a fog-bank. The shrill notes of his lips carried far and keenly. Tolk, who as Chief Herald guided the education of these messenger-scouts, cocked his head and nodded. 'We guessed it very well,' he said calmly."
-Poul Anderson, The Man Who Counts IN Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (Riverdale, NY, 2009), pp. 337-515 AT VIII, p. 387.

Sheila and I attended a demonstration of the Canary Islands whistling language. See here. Someone hid three items, e.g., a hand bag, a camera, a scarf, in a large room full of people in sight of a whistler. A second whistler entered the room, found the items and returned them to their owners as instructed entirely in whistles by the first whistler


S.M. Stirling said...

Any consistent system of symbols can express language.

Paul Shackley said...

This morning, I added a few words to the end of the post. The second whistler not only found the items but returned them to their owners.