Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yeah, I know my place

Ok the mathematics post was a bust. It was fun wearing Mommy's heels while it lasted and I can humbly accept my role in life as existing well outside the math community.

...and INSIDE the LINGUIST community! That's right people, get excited, here comes some linguistics-ball! AGHHH Are YOU excited?? I know IIII AMMMM

But really though, let's talk about the word nother. I hear so many people use this word as an adjective all on its own, as an odd, abbreviated, red-headed stepchild of another. I've even heard weird nerdy dictionary rumors that nother is soon to be added to the American vocabulary canon as a spin-off of its legitimate older sister. But that is false. And nother actually falls under another rule altogether, one that every person on earth can relate to and appreciate.

The rule that Linguistics calls "the Fuckin' rule" is also known more modestly as "the Expletive rule" or simply "the Infix rule." I was following up on one of my favorite blogs (a joint-project between modern linguists Mark Liberman and Geoffrey K. Pullum called The Language Log), and remembered my favorite linguistic rule! AGHHHH MAH FAVORITE LINGUISTIC RULE because it proves that it is possible for English and Language geeks (lak me!) to be cool enough to cuss! And I realized that this is exactly where nother exists! AMAZING

So in a nutshell, the Fuckin' Rule dictates the ways in which emphasis words, most commonly fuckin, may be entered into the middle of another word (or phrase) usually to add fervor to its exclamation. Everyone recognizes Abso-fuckin-lutely, yes?? And all of its family members (ri-goddam-diculous, Every fuckin day, etc.)? How FUN is it to use them.

Moving on. So nother is used in exactly the same way. The only way I've heard the word used is in the phrase, "A whole nother...". But when you consider the Fuckin' rule, "A whole nother" is actually "A-whole-nother," where whole is the infix and nother is not its own word but simply the last half of the infixed word another. GAH IT'S LANGUAGE MAGIC

Anyway, check out this site for a great explanation of the Fuckin' Rule:
Linguistics: An introduction to linguistic theory

I hope I've redeemed myself.

Please leave off regarding me as a piece of meat

Aggggh is this not the cutest creature you have ever seen? And yes, we DID get this close to these irresistibly fuzzy animales. You are jealous.

(By the way, picture to the left is (c) Jordan Mynarcik.)

So you are asking yourself how this DOPESAUCE experience was made possible. I will elucidate. Firstly, the goal of visiting Argentina's Lujan Zoo was not attained without incredible feats of Spanish-speaking and various accent-interpreting (including northern-Argentine, Chilean, slang, drunk, and speaking-through-dentures, among other varieties) on the part of Hannah and myself. One wonderful thing I have come to appreciate about home is that when you ask a person for directions and they honestly do not know how to help you, they admit it. Contrarily-wise, Argentines will pretend they know exactly what you're talking about and in turn tell you directional LIES. But, hard feelings aside, and omitting what totaled to approximately six hours of being lost in the tiny BFE northern pueblito of Lujan, Argentina, the trip was amazing.

Secondly, that is in fact a picture of me petting a tiger. No, it's not photo-shopped, I really am an OG. But I couldn't help displaying a certain amount of incredulity and terror on my face, as I'm sure you've noticed. The paws were as big as my hands, baby!!! Crazy.

Thirdly, let's talk about proper Zoo management and organization. Haha. Really though, I'm not trying ta catch a case here, I just thought it was super funny to see camels hanging out with sheep and ducks. So odd. At one point, under the cover of darkness, we watched as a team of two overall-ed men wheelbarrowed a gang of meat chunks over to one of the enclosures, lifted a giant metal door on the wall, and commenced shoveling anatomically-distinguishable chicken parts into the compound. We realized a moment later that it was the Puma cage. Strangely reminiscent of watching Muldoon's team lower a live cow into the Velociraptor paddock in Jurassic Park. So inconsiderate of these animals' regular eating habits. And yet, so badass.

Finally, Holy Crap. Giant lions are seriously stealthy. While we were organizing our group, trying to exit the park and figure out how the hell to avoid getting lost on our trip home now that it was dark, unbeknownst to us the large nocturnal cats were assembling. Imagine you are a friggin Lion, captured from the wild and set up in way-too-small-of-a cage, living on raw chicken all day. You know you wanna attack something. That shit is just in your blood. My advice to anyone who wishes to avoid nearly peeing their pants at a zoo at night is to never absentmindedly find yourself standing next to the full-grown lion enclosure in the dark. I thought I heard something behind me and peered into the darkness of the cage at my rear, when finally I distinguished that, through the shoddy protection of a chain-link fence, a giant-ass lion was staring at my body from a mere few feet away. Um, NOT COOL. Once I discerned his enormous efficient bulk, I slowly moved to my left, then to my right, and watched his head almost imperceptibly follow my movements. Again, just like one's tour jeep breaking down right in front of the T-Rex compound. NOT COOL. So, yeah. National Geographic is real and don't ever lose respect for the wildlife. Ever. Because they want to eat you.

Similar advice from Katt Williams (who is the Bomb) below.

My last attempt at mathematics, ever

It was just a few days ago, and it was the only time in my life I can EVER remember thinking that what I was trying to explain at the moment would be far more clear in mathematical terms. So here is the sum of my experiences in Argentina:

Ev ↓ Sv ↑

(where Ev is the extent of my English vocabulary and Sv is the extent of my Spanish vocabulary.)

touching baby Tigers > touching baby Lions
Rhinocerii = active at night = dangerous

Ratio of An to Ad = 1/1

(where An is the Amount of Argentines who have No idea what they are talking about and Ad is the Amount of Argentines who will give you Directions to a place anyway.)

Dm ↑ Am ↓

(where Dm is my Desire to eat Marshmallows and Am is the Availability of Marshmallows.)

Sp ⇒ Ft
Ft ↑ Rt ↑

(where Sp is my completely lax and absolutely NOT challenging Shitty school Program, Ft is the amount of Free Time I have as a result of said Shitty Program, and Rt is the amount of Time I spend Reading classic literature in my apartment.)

Crema de Maní ≠ nor does it → Regular Good Old Fashioned A-mur-ican Peanut Butter

Brujería ≠ good witch magic

(...and old superstitious Argentine ladies will be angry if you suggest otherwise.)

Mate cocido = awesome

Skype ≡ the bomb

and finally,

(1 Bl + 1 Bv + 1 Bf + 2 Bc + 1 Nz) / 3 Og = E

(where Bl is Bottle of Caña Legui, Bv is Bottle of Vodka, Bf is Bottle of Fernet, Bc is Bottle of Coca Cola, Nz is Night Tour of the Buenos Aires Zoo, Og is Original Gangster, and E is Éxito, which is Spanish for Success Success Success.)

Basic math, I know, but let's not expect leaps and bounds from an English major who never made it past Intro to Stats. I must admit that simple math language is the perfect medium for blandly expressing my frustration and elation at certain moments of this Argentina trip. Also, it was fun to pretend I have any business in the math world, even for just thirty minutes while I drafted this blog post.