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Archive for December, 2007

LANGUAGE — By Lingoist Mort Castle

December 8th, 2007 38 comments

AN INTRODUCTION

I like language. I use it a lot.

In fact, I don’t think I’d have become a writer were it not for language.

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GRAMMAR

Subjects and verbs don’t have to agree but they should at least tolerate one another.

Nobody is sure where end marks of punctuation go in regard to quotation marks. Except for the Spanish. But they put them in upside down as well as right side up so they have their own problems.

To make sure, then, try it this way:

“Hello,”, Mort said. “I think I’ll rant about language today!”! Mort added, ,”, If that’s okay with you.”.

ON USING SENTENCE FRAGMENTS

Don’t.

Except sometimes.

“Okay?”?

A SIMPLE RULE

The transgenedered verb may only be used as a declension in the sublatative or presumptive voice. This is based on the Latin: Ergo cogito bluto hoho.

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OH, YEAH? SEZ ME!

You can turn any words into terms of vituperative threat.

I will post your toasties and maneuver your heimlich!

I’ll indigo you, girl!

Bare naked, ladies!

Potter my Harry!

Cheese curl!

If I were you, though, I’d never threaten anyone with … I’ll wonka your willie.

***

UNDEFINING

How to strip all meaning from a word:

Read the following aloud:

Foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot oot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot oot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot foot

Get it? Foot, yes you do. Foot what I foot am foot at? Good foot, you foot!

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THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR

I listened to George W. the other day.

What did language ever do to him?

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LOVE AND HATE

We have a special category of illegal activity called Hate crimes. I’d like to see a new classification added to the jurisprudential lexicon: Love Crime.

as in…

I loved him so much I had to kill him when I learned he was foot with that foot down the foot. Killed her, too, the foot. Shot her right in the foot.

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UGLY MAGIC WORDS

I’ll bet you have a magic word! When you hear this word, you are utterly repulsed, totally disgusted. It’s a visceral thing. The word ticks at the gag reflex, makes you want to vomit.

Thought so.

For the next 30 seconds, don’t think of that word.

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AS WEBSTER HAD IT

Lewis Carroll was full of prune whip: Words mean exactly what they mean and that’s it.

For instance… Calendar.

You know what means?

Right. It means calendar.

It sure as hell doesn’t mean foot.

End of discussion.

***

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Granted, in any country worth visiting, everyone will know English, or at least understand enough if you just talk loudly and slowly, but in case you need a few casual phrases…

FRENCH

Georges Cluny chevrolet coupe. Oou’reyay oiletstay areay owherenay earnay asay ilthyfay asay eythay useday otay ebay!

SPANISH

¿Senor, frito loco taco dorito, chess? ¿¿Ooyay ikelay ihauhauchay?¿?

GERMAN

!DEUTSCHLAND Panzer kindertotenlieder! Achtung mein Volswagen! Onquercay anyay ountriescay atelylay?

RUSSIAN: Nietschevo pravda tolstoy Tovarich da, da, malenoko boris bolshoi! Atwhay? Inenay ina orningmay anda obodynay’s unkdray etyay?

ARABIC: Salaam ali baba ibn sesame bin bubbelah! Erehway ancay Iay indfay a oodgay osherkay othay ogday?

***

LANGUAGE FINIS

“And,”, Mort said, “think we’ll end this edition of STORYTELLERS UNPLUGGED, my last for 2007, with that universal expression of best wishes for a joyous holiday and a good new year:”:

“Foot!”! One and all!

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