There's conspiracy theories, and then there's WEIRD

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There's conspiracy theories, and then there's WEIRD

Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:06 pm

Conspiracy theorists blame linguists for 9/11

Increased rumors and speculation are surfacing, encouraged by disgruntled leaders of what has come to be known as "The Only English Movement" (OEM), that American linguists are involved in a wide-spread plot to convince US citizens that the world needs other languages besides English. "Everyone knows that English is the dominant world language," said a Peoria, Illinois proud monolingual, gesturing to a full-color photo displayed on his living room wall showing the President flying in Air Force 1 over hurricane-ravished New Orleans. "He's doing a heck of a job spreading English throughout the world in spite of those free-thinking linguists who claim that we should be learning Arabic, Yoruba, and God only knows what other gibberish languages," he added.

Although most conspiracy theorists agree that linguists are responsible for the schools teaching more and more foreign languages, including Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Persian, the linguists' motives for doing this continue to be disputed. Some say linguists are incorrigible troublemakers. Others believe that the depressed job market for linguists has emboldened college professors to create more language teaching jobs for their graduates, since many of them are currently forced to seek employment as truck drivers and computer repair technicians. Still others say that it's part of a linguistic plot to destroy the very fabric of a correct and beautiful language with immutable rules that should never be broken.

But one group of conspiracy theorists has taken the criticism much further, blaming linguists for the series of recent setbacks experienced by our troops, beginning with 9/11. "We know one thing for sure," said one critic. "Those planes were piloted by speakers of a foreign language. If they had been speaking English, we would have stopped them in their tracks." Another conspiracy theorist complained that millions of messages intercepted by Homeland Security are undecipherable because they were not sent in English. According to one source who requested anonymity, the real reason why André Boisclair, leader of the Parti Québéois, so frequently denies being a linguist (see here), is to distance himself from blame for the war in Iraq.

Since these rumors began circulating, some conspiracy theorists are now saying that our continuing failures in the Middle East are the direct result of linguists allowing Arabic to exist. One returned US Army captain explained that he had spent several weeks trying to teach Iraqi Army officers the best military stragegy for defeating the insurgents: "They only looked at me stupidly when I spoke," he explained, adding that his English is "completely unaccented and very easy to understand." The general feeling of OEM is that US linguists are at fault for failing to see to it that English is the universal language in that part of the world "the same way it is in Europe."
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Re: There's conspiracy theories, and then there's WEIRD

Postby Rei » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:24 pm

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That's AWESOME!
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Postby hive_king » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:03 pm

Please tell me you're joking. Please tell me this is a gag. I have only so much faith in humanity left.
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:10 pm

Reputable blog. No joke. Just the sad, sad hilarity.
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Postby zeroguy » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:35 pm

Reminds me of some editorial or somesuch someone wrote in to some paper saying something to the effect of "I don't see why all these people need to speak all of these weird languages. I mean, if English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!" Fortunately, I believe this was followed up by more letters about the languages Jesus actually probably spoke...
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Postby hive_king » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:44 pm

Hey, at least english makes more sense than farsi. Half of farsi is just the same shape over and over with different dots over or below it
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:16 am

That's a whole different issue. Alphabets are only one part of a language. And I bet Farsi is more consistent, heh.
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Postby hive_king » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:24 am

Ha, you try figuring out, "is that three dots under two letters, making it an E and and B, or one dot under one and two under another, making it a B and an S?"
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:32 am

I do Gothic palaeography. Bring it.
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Postby hive_king » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:33 am

I shall demur.
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Postby jotabe » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:46 am

*laughs smugly and smiles deviously while Spanish language takes over the USA without people in this forum realizing*

Btw, about the language Jesus spoke... wasn't it aramaic? Isn't aramaic related to arabic? (well, at least they are both semitic languages... i think)

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Postby Rei » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:33 am

I think so. Along with that, probably a bit of Greek and Hebrew.

And I'll take Hebrew over Farsi. Or really most any alphabet over the Arabic scripts as it looks like someone tried to make something meaningful from my penmanship.
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Postby hive_king » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:51 am

all I'm saying is that someone needs to tell farsi speakers that there's more shapes than |____|
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Postby Rei » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:52 am

They'll probably shoot back with 'o-u-g-h'
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Postby Matty » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:41 pm

*Weeps for humanity. Gives in at last to the temptation to believe that people with an education are better than people without one.*
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Postby jotabe » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:00 pm

"Ignorance is the worst evil for humans, because those who suffer it consider themselves to be wise enough, and hence, they don't wish to become wiser".

-Roughly and freely translated from Socrates' teachings.

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Postby zeroguy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:40 pm

Unless you know that you know nothing.
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Postby hive_king » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:28 am

I am so resisting the urge to break into an operation ivy song
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Postby fawkes » Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:37 pm

According to Joss Whedon and Firefly, English and Chinese will become a mixed language in the future (which kind of makes sense, when you think about it).
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Postby Jebus » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:37 pm

Yea, it does make sense, kinda like the way everyone in the world speaks half Latin and half Ancient Greek at the moment.

English and Chinese do not form into one language in Firefly, both languages are so widespread and common that even the most uneducated can easily switch between them.

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Postby RoyalMother » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:07 am

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Postby wizzard » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:58 am

I think one of my favorite quotes has to be "[the President]'s doing a heck of a job spreading English throughout the world in spite of those free-thinking linguists who claim that we should be learning Arabic, Yoruba, and God only knows what other gibberish languages"

The ignorance displayed in this statement is just mind boggling.
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Postby starlooker » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:17 pm

I had no idea linguists were the people in charge of what everybody speaks!

Wow, if I'd realized that I would've taken it up instead of psychology, where we only get to be in charge of what people think!
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Postby hive_king » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:34 pm

Ha, I'd still win. I'm studying philosophy, so we're in charge of what's real or not.
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Postby starlooker » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:47 pm

Am I real?
There's another home somewhere,
There's another glimpse of sky...
There's another way to lean
into the wind, unafraid.
There's another life out there...

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Postby hive_king » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:38 pm

nope, just a construct of the Evil Genius.
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby starlooker » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:56 pm

Well, I suppose that's better than being a construct of the Evil Idiot.
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Postby hive_king » Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:30 pm

No, that construction is our president.
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby Ua Lava » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:41 pm

It's either a terrible conspiracy or good satire. Since it has all of the makings of a good satire, my vote is on the latter.

P.S.
a linguistic plot to destroy the very fabric of a correct and beautiful language with immutable rules that should never be broken.
Please tell me which rule in English isn't broken.
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Postby Rei » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:19 pm

Please tell me which rule in English isn't broken.
Word Final Strident Voicing

C[+strident] --> [+voiced] / C[+voiced] _____ #

E.g. [kæts] vs. [kædz]



(Yes, yes... I know that Optimality Theory and Feature Geometry are prefered. But those don't have rules and this is easier to write.)
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Postby eriador » Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:19 am

igpay atinlay orfay ehtay inway! ehtay onlyway ealray anguagelay!

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Postby Rei » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:15 am

Lingua latina est melior illa.
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Postby wizzard » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:42 am

^hoc est verum.

also, I'm impressed that you pig-latinized "teh"
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Postby hive_king » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:43 am

actually, it should be "ethey" since it goes by sound and not letter.
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:07 am

:(){ :|:& };:
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