U is for USB

The year is 1887 and in what is modern-day Poland, a physician-linguist named L. L. Zamenhof set out to solve a problem. In his town a handful of different languages were being spoken, and these language lines divided their speakers into tribes that hardly intersected.

Zamenhof's solution? Construct a universal language that everyone would speak and which would bridge the gap between people that were physically neighbours, yet psychically foreigners. The language was Esperanto, and suffice to say, you don't see it on the backs of cereal boxes tucked underneath the English and French.

Esperanto may have never caught on as the universal language of a nineteenth-century idealist’s dreams, but the idea of a common form of communication isn't completely foreign, if you're willing to include the way computers communicate with the gadgets that are attached to them.

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