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And only in a group of linguists...

...would the following conversation pieces occur and cause uproarious laughter in all assembled.

(Explanations in italics for the uninitiated.)

$linguist1: "I always like to say 'let's haul' instead of 'let's go'."

$linguist2: "How funny! I've never heard that before. For me, it has to be 'let's haul ass'."

$linguist3: "Yeah, if I said 'let's haul', there'd be a silent 'ass' tacked on in my mind."

$other_linguists: :: giggle :: (Note: Linguists sometimes posit that people don't pronounce all the words if the expression is completely recoverable from just the beginning parts. Thus, in this case, "haul ass" would presumably be recoverable from just pronouncing "haul". )

$linguist4: "Me, too. Our dialect of English is obviously ass-dropping."

$linguist3: "It's the ass-dropping parameter of English!"

$other_linguists: Yeeeesss! :: uproarious laughter :: (Note: Linguists sometimes debate over the parameters of language structure, and a famous one is the "pro-drop" parameter. The "ass-dropping" parameter is a parody of this.)


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
I claim your linguistic-geeky love! I'm only a sometimes-hobbyist-linguist (with only a couple of linguistics classes from college long ago), but I literally did laugh out loud at at $linguist4's comment as soon as I saw it (and got the reference).
Apr. 21st, 2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
Yay for geekiness-gone-silly!
Apr. 21st, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
Only a very small amount of linguistic-geek-love for me. I was more amused by a random selection of not-intended-to-be-funny headlines pinned to a noticeboard a couple of hours ago.

"Heater blamed for fiery death" or something, near-adjacent to "cold spell predicted", with a picture between them of a person holding their hand up sideways - as if keeping the two headlines from merging and cancelling out. Also amusing because, well, who would blame a *cooler* for a fiery death?

Also "Homer flits between two places 240 miles apart" - little did the observer realise that there were simply two identical copies of the Iliad, one at each location. (It was really about a homing bird.)

And "Nine of Every Ten Toddlers Afflicted by Psychi[headline torn off here]". Which was evidently really "Psychiatric Problems", but was funnier to imagine to be "Psychics" and fill in the blanks in the torn-down-the-middle column of story correspondingly.

Which is to say, I am more amused by immobile words mixed about in my brain than in the word-mixings other people's brains perform. For the most part.
Apr. 21st, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
I was vaguely amused, mostly because ass jokes are not generally very funny to me. So, I got the linguist part, but fail at toilet humor.
Apr. 22nd, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
How interesting - I completely didn't parse it as toilet humor since my brain was in full linguistics mode and was merely being amused by the parody value. But I'm glad you did enjoy it somewhat.
Apr. 21st, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
Apr. 22nd, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Hee hee hee - indeed! Thanks very much for the link!
Apr. 22nd, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Hah! Okay, since I'm a linguist, probably I don't get extra points for this, but I do agree, that is quite funny. I say a lot that I wouldn't ever want to be in a relationship with another linguist, but god, what would I do without linguist friends so that these sorts of jokes actually come up?

(Random, somewhat similar thematic story: At the beginning of this semester, when I was TAing for the first time, one of the other TAs and I were talking about not being able to remember students names. She said that she just refers to students as Bob until she can get the names down. I said that makes Bob the default you get supplied if you're underspecified for name. We both laughed. This does say something about us, for sure.)
Apr. 22nd, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
but god, what would I do without linguist friends so that these sorts of jokes actually come up?

Yes, exactly. I get a peculiar little jolt of "Hee!" from linguistic humor that I truly don't get from any other kind.

I said that makes Bob the default you get supplied if you're underspecified for name.

[grin] Quite!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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