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.

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