Saturday, May 14, 2005

Structured Procrastination

Today in my procrastination research lab, I discovered an excellent article on Structured Procrastination, in which John Perry, one of the founders of the Center for the Study of Language and Information, mentions behaviors familiar to many of my readers and describes his approach to using these behaviors to his advantage.

Also of interest to other folks researching procrastination are a dissertation on the Delmore Effect (explained in the abstract as "the paradoxical failure of people to formulate explicit goals for themselves in the domains they most value") and 43 Things, where I ran across this literature.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Manifesto of Dialectical Diachronics

The history of languages worldwide and especially the history of English clearly show progress towards increasingly superior forms. Whereas we can expect these patterns to continue as we progress, Dialectical Diachronicism advocates revolutionary efforts to further these changes and accelerate our progress:

1) Regularization of plural and tense paradigms (not paradigmata). No more of this "octopi/octopodes/octopuses?", "syllabi/syllabantes/syllabuses?", "kleenexen/kleenices/kleenexes?" and "moose/meese/mooses?", nor such monstrosities as "dived/diven/dove/doved/doven?" and "drunk/drinken/drunken/drinked/drank/dranked/drunked/dranken?". All plurals shall use the +/z/ morpheme, and preterite and past participles (regardless or use) shall use +/d/. Spell them as you see fit.

2) Furthermore, no more special treatment for [3RD.SG.PRES].

3) As be already the norm in common speech, 'them' be the proper pronoun for use for an animate individual when their gender be unknown or irrelevant.

4) The shortage of verbal morphology and the inexorable advance towards pro-drop thenecesitate a reanalysis of subject pronouns as prefixes. (Some members of the committee thave recommended that wego through a period of weanalyzing them as clitics. Itshall be put up for a vote at the next meeting.) The details thebe still being worked out.

English speakers of the world, wefind ourselves at a crucial moment in history: now. When a friend who thebe ignorant of the revolution thespeak the unenlightened way, warn them sternly. When an enemy thespeak in the unenlightened way, quote Vogon poetry at them. In a few short years, weell speak an even more superb language, even cooler than now, and weell reminisce, saying "Yremember how wespeaked back then? Webeed so unenlightened and whack."