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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.)

Comments

ravenblack
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.

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