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Official Statement on Policy of Language
As the Vatican regurgitates more of its rules on Contraception, I am reminded of my tenuous duty to periodically add appropriate laws to the canon of the Tropist Monks of Byzantium. And so, here is the unshakable law de jour which can only be ignored by unanimous decision in each diocese1. To help preserve the Sanctimonious Bullshit Quotient, gratuitous & unnecessary use of questionable Latin and Big Words (quod vide) are employed throughout.
These twelve laws shall be added to the Codex Locusta Canonici as of the First Day of Death, 6 AA.
- The purpose of language between two Erisians shall be elucidation.
- The purpose of language between an Erisian & a member of the Five Orders of Discordia, id est bureaucrats, generals, politicians et cetera, shall be obfuscation.
- The purpose of language in all other cases shall be varied, but chiefly for the acquisition of food, sex or mind-altering substances. Coitus ergo sum, after all.
- Caveat Orator2: The definition of a word shall be taken as the listeners definition of the word. Since you have no way of knowing what their definition of the word is, you have a problem. This, however, is yours and not the Polyfather's. As it says in the Book of Nelson: "Ha ha!".
- The speaker's definition shall be considered to be relevant if the a poteriori or a priori clauses are invoked.
- The A Posteriori Clause: Here the definition held by the speaker is asserted on the erroneous assumption that there is such a thing as 'common parlance' & that the speaker obviously knows more about it than you do.
- The A Priori Clause: Here the definition held by the speaker is asserted on the spurious assumption that the history of language defines the usage of a term & that the speaker obviously knows more about it than you do.
- The Nolens, Volens Clause: Use of lexicographic wildcards such as 'jub', 'thingy' & 'jobber' is enthusiastically approved.
- Fortuna Favet Lapsus Linguae3: The invention of new words, by intelligent design or by accident, is also enthusiastically approved, provided the listener is given some method of knowing what the term means (the a priori clause does apply). On this subject, designer words from the House of the Apostles of Eris are available from the Polyfather. Exempli gratia, obliviqahwahphobia: the fear that you have put a cup of coffee down somewhere and forgotten it.
- The Big World Rule: Two things cause a word to be a Big Word:
The opposite of a big word is a Tabloid Word. Opposite is a Tabloid Word, because you'd find it in a Tabloid, a Broadsheet or a nine-year old's English essay. Antonym is a Big Word for opposite which is a Tabloid Word, only it's more precise because it specifies a diametrically opposed pair of words. Diametric could be a Big Word - it might even be a Very Big Word; a word that you wouldn't even find in a Broadsheet. However, don't confuse Very Big Words with Very Tabloid Words like 'knockers' which you also wouldn't find in a Broadsheet, but you would find in Tabloids (especially in the headlines).
- The listener does not understand the word and is frustrated by their own ignorance.
- The word could appear in a Broadsheet but would not appear in a Tabloid newspaper.
- Nunc est bibendum4.
1 It should be noted that the current religious maps divide the world into several billion dioceses; one, in fact, for every person, animal or indeed, thing.
2 "Let the Speaker Beware"
3 "Fortune Favours a Slip of the Tongue"
4 "Now it is Time to Drink"
Correct Spelling Not Guaenteed
Rearange the letters of this four letter acronym until it is alligned wiith the cosmos: MMSU. (Hint: use your brain)