The Linguistic Big Rip
by Charlie Saygone
In the June 2010 issue, Block claims that there is an impending “Linguistic Big Crunch.” I am appalled that SpecGram would allow such tripe to be published.
That sort of tripe is a grade i, on a scale of -π to 7, on the Soviet Kyrgyzstani Normalized Scale of Tripe and Other Assorted Offal (Revised 1992 Edition). The sort of tripe any physological linguist should be aiming for—and the minimum required standard for any publication—should at least approach a 3 (which is, by the way, the perfect quality level for those cheap Welsh haggis knock-offs you sometimes see).
In any case, Block and colleagues at the High-Energy Pronoun Accelerator have, to put it bluntly, gone insane. I would attribute this to living underground in close proximity to attempts at firing fourth person dual reflexive pronouns at dummy pronouns in the illative case. Not-so-recent work by the Suprasegmental Cosmology Project (1999), has shown that languages will not fall into some “Big Crunch.” Instead, speech communities will slowly drift further and further apart. This will result not in a “Big Crunch,” but a “Big Rip,” in which languages become ever-more numerous, until each individual’s idiolect is a language unto itself. Hypothetically, this could continue until even these “idiolanguages” are deconstructed into billions and billions of theoretical parts, leaving nothing behind but a vast, empty linguistic universe of traces.
However, the team at the High-Energy Pronoun Accelerator refuses to acknowledge this theory, despite acceptance from the community as a whole. While it is likely that they are simply, as I mentioned before, mad, it might also have been because they are mad. The other kind of mad, I mean. It seems they lost the pseudo-annual charity softball game to the Suprasegmental Cosmology Project back in ’82. And in ’81. And in ’81. And in ’79. I also might have spilled coffee on their lab notebooks that one time, destroying all their data on weak pronoun interaction. In any case, we’re not here to pass blame. At least for that last one.