You walked to the north over mountainous terrain for five long years, searching for an answer. But when you got there at last, you only found one letter.
You walked east through deep swamps for another five years, hoping to learn more. But when you got there, you only found another letter.
From there, another five years through thick forest to the south; at the end of this, a third letter.
Then west again through arid deserts, finally finding the fourth and final letter. Stringing them together, you had a word.
This word, which took you twenty years of searching, is something I can now read in a moment. "This is the power of language—the instant transfer of accumulated wisdom!" I exclaim.
"Seems unfair," you mutter.