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Disemvoweling is the excrutiatingly painful process in which a hot steel poker is inserted into ones' name, and the vowels from inside are wrenched out completely, leaving the victim a dry, consonant-riddled husk.
Disemvoweling In Depth
The process of disemvoweling is long and agonizing. First used as a method of torture by great kings and emperors of old times now past, it was then used to extract confessions from witches, dissenters and Protestants by the Inquisition, where it was considered on par with excommunication. Nowadays, it is used primarily as a method in interrogation, and in politically sanctioned death sentences.
As has already been mentioned, the disemvoweling process involves the extraction, painfully, of the vowels out a word, usually a name. In some instances, it is used on a piece of prose, or literary work. Such targets are usually chosen to cause distress to the victim due to the loss of the meaning of their work. This is believed to have resulted in most of Charles Bukowski's later works.
As we can see, from the example on the right, the letters in red are ready to be removed. This would result in the sentence being left as: "Th Qck brwn fx jmpd vr th lzy dg". Some controversy still exists as to whether the 'y' should also be removed, and the debate will probably rage for some time.
The history and evolution of disemvoweling
Disemvoweling is not a recent invention. It is older than many other things, (the wheel, sliced bread, Darth Kennet, for example), and was in fact used much more extensively throughout ancient times than now - ironically when illiteracy was at an all time high - 99%.
First recorded use
Disemvoweling entered recorded history during the civilization of Ur. Apparently it was originally adopted by empty headed bureaucrats as a method for keeping state secrets in a format incomprehensible to the general populace. (It is historically unclear what affect the outstandingly high level of illiteracy already present in the society had on the effectivity of disemvoweling as a useful method of concealing information.) However, most scholars and literate laymen found the process excruciatingly unpleasant, and a minor revolution began with the express aim of curbing the increasingly widespread use of disemvoweling. Unfortunately for the scholars concerned, their revolution was turned on its head when the existing government adopted disemvoweling as a combat method. Most remaining accounts of the conflict show revolutionaries cowering in fear at the violent removal of vowels from the words they had come to know and love. This powerful demonstration of disemvoweling as so much more than a simple tool for the elision of non-critical phonemes led to its increasingly widespread popularity as a torture and execution device.