Sunday July 22, 2001


31st-Century English: Let's get this straight, although I speak English, I'm not its biggest fan. What we have here is a language that began as a bad habit shared by Norman soldiers and Saxon barmaids who discovered that if they shared that habit they could share other things. Then the island empire they populated went all imperial and the bad habit was exported to at least four other continents. Then their colonies compounded the problem by revolting and splintering the language, and then insisting on the right to absorb other cultures ad hoc and ad nauseum (but not ad-free, unless you subscribe.)
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
And I will give them a horrible new language to speak,
Which they will then mutate even more.
(emphasis added*)
And then, as if that wasn't bad enough, one of the colonies began exporting soldiers and technology across the face of the planet so that this mutated, awkward tongue became the de facto standard for business.

Needless to say, when Earthmen went to space and joined Galactic civilization, the language of corruption, conquest, and compromise struck the rest of the galaxy like a plague. It was like influenza among the native americans, or that Apple virus uploaded by that one guy during the Independence Day movie. Our galactic neighbors never stood a chance.

The worst part... Earth never apologized, and the descendents of the ancient royal families of the former British Empire (now comprising less than a billionth of a percent of the galaxy's English-speakers) continued to insist that everyone else was talking funny.

*Emphasis is also indicative of abject corruption of the original poem.

Book 1: The Tub of Happiness
Interrogation Interruption

Transcript

Narrator:Doythaban stands over a copy of himself... A copy that's just caught a four-centimeter beam of 740nm coherent light through the point where his parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes meet, just forward of the center-of-mass of his skull. This is probably not a survivable injury...
Narrator:This is not a time for grieving, however. It is a time for vengeance.
Gasht'g'd'g'tang:I'm Gasht'g'd'g'tang. Your gate-copy killed my son. Prepare to die.
Narrator:It remains to be seen whose vengeance now is the time for.
Narrator:That didn't sound right... 'Whose vengeance it's time for now?'
Narrator:Um... 'for whom it's time for vengeance?'
Gasht'g'd'g'tang:How about 'it remains to be seen for whom the bell tolls?'
DoytHaban:(doyt) No bells, how about "who's avenging who?"
Narrator:'who's avenging whom.'
DoytHaban:(doyt) I'm avenging him.
Gasht'g'd'g'tang:That's ridiculous. You're not avenging me. You're avenging the guy on the floor.
DoytHaban:(doyt) Are you positive?
Gasht'g'd'g'tang:Absolutely. You humans and your cultural insensitivity have corrupted three perfectly good ancient galactic tongues with this 'english' of yours, and yet you can't even speak it as well as those upon whoom you've inflicted it.
Gasht'g'd'g'tang:Gnnh...
SFX:MAZORCH
DoytHaban:(doyt) Nice shot, dude.
Ennesby:Can we get out of here now?
Narrator:Hey, we killed off a character yesterday. We just had to let up a bit on the action today.
Footnote:31st-Century English: Let's get this straight, although I speak English, I'm not its biggest fan. What we have here is a language that began as a bad habit shared by Norman soldiers and Saxon barmaids who discovered that if they shared that habit they could share other things. Then the island empire they populated went all imperial and the bad habit was exported to at least four other continents. Then their colonies compounded the problem by revolting and splintering the language, and then insisting on the right to absorb other cultures ad hoc and ad nauseum (but not ad-free, unless you subscribe.) Give me your tired, your poor Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, And I will give them a horrible new language to speak, Which they will then mutate even more. (emphasis added*) And then, as if that wasn't bad enough, one of the colonies began exporting soldiers and technology across the face of the planet so that this mutated, awkward tongue became the de facto standard for business.Needless to say, when Earthmen went to space and joined Galactic civilization, the language of corruption, conquest, and compromise struck the rest of the galaxy like a plague. It was like influenza among the native americans, or that Apple virus uploaded by that one guy during the Independence Day movie. Our galactic neighbors never stood a chance.The worst part... Earth never apologized, and the descendents of the ancient royal families of the former British Empire (now comprising less than a billionth of a percent of the galaxy's English-speakers) continued to insist that everyone else was talking funny.*Emphasis is also indicative of abject corruption of the original poem.