RIP Stanislaw Lem
One day Trurl the constructor put together a machine that could create anything starting with n. When it was ready, he tried it out, ordering it to make needles, then nankeens and negligess, which it did, then nail the lot to narghiles filled with nepenthe and numberous other narcotics. The machine carried out his instruction to the letter. Still not completely sure of its ability, he had it produce, one after the other, nimbuses, noodles, nuclei, neutrons, napththa, noses, nymphs, naiads, and natrium. This last it could not do, and Trurl, considerable irritated, demanded an explanation.
"Never heard of it," said the machine.
"What? But it's only sodium. You know, the metal, the element . . ."
"Sodium starts with an s, and I work only in n."
"But in Latin it's natrium."
"Look, old boy," said the machine, "if I could do everything starting with n in every possible language, I'd be a Machine That Could Do Everything in the Whole Alphabet, since any item you care to mention undoubtedly starts with n in one foreign language or another. It's not that easy. I can't go beyond what you programmed. So no sodium."
--Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006)
fr. "How the World Was Saved"
in The Cyberiad, c. 1980