The Loathsome Linguist (inspired by Stephen Fry and linguistics class)

Silas Silverbottom, a sniveling snob,

was erudite and eccentric and efficacious at his job.

He was lauded as a linguist, though pedantic in his speeches;

he was tough and pragmatic, and most punctilious when he teaches.

For nary a comma could be caught out of place

without poor Silverbottom turning slightly purple in the face.

A martinet was he, when it came to the rules of grammar;

after all, without rules, words would jumble in a chaotic manner.

Without the proper pauses at particular points of a line,

how was one to know to what end one’s thoughts inclined?

Alas, confusion would arise, as in innumerable cases,

and plenty could be prevented given the proper turns of phrases.

He frequently found, and shook his fist in his ire,

as if the universe against him did conspire,

outrageous uses of there, they’re, and their;

he wondered in fact how one could dare,

to obtrude upon the ear even more,

with the obnoxious abusing of you’re and your.

The malicious meanderings of thought from his students

made him condemn the poor creatures for their unwonted impudence.

Their fatal function, he often opined,

was to verbally vex him until he resigned.

But no such fortuitous fortune awaited the scholars,

for little did they know of Silas’s choler.

He could patiently withstand the deliberate danglings they made,

for none but he was in charge of their grade.

Admittedly, the tiresome trials by which he was plagued,

the nuances of language, which made their language vague,

did proffer to his pathetic existence,

a goal to be reached, with pluck and persistence;

for the ultimate aim towards which Silas did, and does still, aspire,

is to consistency in language, which communication does require.

It’s a curious conspiracy of the world thought he,

to denigrate the intricacies of thought, and thus to be

simplistic in one’s discourse, puerile in one’s speech,

bleak and barren, and, consequently, out of Literature’s reach.


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One response to “The Loathsome Linguist (inspired by Stephen Fry and linguistics class)

  1. Pingback: functionality, confusion, and humor | power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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