On February 18th the New York Times published a Sunday acrostic puzzle that featured Esther Schor’s book Bridge of Words. The answers to the clues produce this quotation from the book:

“Like… Doctor Frankenstein, Zamenhof took the dismembered parts of other languages and created a new being entirely. It must have been a lonely venture, being the sole speaker of a language yet to be put before the world.”

After providing some history about how the language is used for fostering communication between nations, the puzzle editor mentions how the teachers at her elementary school put Esperanto to use in a rather different way:

We had not even mastered English at that point, and the thought of talking to strangers in a language that no one in my neighborhood had ever heard of was terrifying. [For the teachers, Esperanto] became a useful tool in threatening their boisterous classes: “Everyone sit down and be quiet, or we’re all going to learn Esperanto!”