LINGUIST List 4.64

Wed 03 Feb 1993

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  1. Max Wheeler, A literary allusion to linguistics
  2. "Marie Egan", Deep Space 9 episode entitled "Babel"
  3. AHARRIS - Alan Harris, Administration, and How to survive in the Academy

Message 1: A literary allusion to linguistics

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 93 16:02:54 GMA literary allusion to linguistics
From: Max Wheeler <maxwcogs.sussex.ac.uk>
Subject: A literary allusion to linguistics

Here's another example of a literary allusion to linguistics I came across
recently.

 He led the way towards a group of men. They worked for him under the
strictest possible discipline; though exactly what they were working for was
not at first apparent.
 `We are against fragments, wonderful ventures, allegorical dramas,
sentences more than eight words long, second chances, old men with green eyes,
chinese-white, murder without crime, miracles, textbooks on Hygiene, muscle
re-education and all forms of stammering,' said Offjenkin.
 A man nearby cleaning a machine gun said, `And phonology.'
 `And young men with four shirts and choice silver wedding presents,' said
another.
 Offjenkin presented Gombold and Squall with a pamphlet each. He sat down
in the middle of his men,
 `We are in favour of walls,' he said, `and Norse folk tales, "I love you,"
dream houses, spider's [sic] webs, village greens, cuckoldry within reason,
psychoanalytical studies od Hamlet, domestic bliss, first-hand information and
cross-stitching.'
 The man nearby cleaning the machine gun said, `And Beginner's [sic] luck.'
 `And clowns, wisdom teeth, dead roses and mousetraps,' said another.
 Offjenkin said, `You'll be all right. Ask no questions, do as you're told,
and' -- his face twisted into a smile -- you may in time come to identify
yourself with our views.'
 Joe Orton, 1971. Head to Toe (London: Minerva, 1990 edition, pp.
168-169).

Max Wheeler,
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences,
University of Sussex,
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH,
UK.
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Message 2: Deep Space 9 episode entitled "Babel"

Date: 1 Feb 93 10:00:02 EST
From: "Marie Egan" <EGANMhsscls.hssc.scarolina.edu>
Subject: Deep Space 9 episode entitled "Babel"

 Last week's episode of the Star Trek spin-off Deep Space 9 was
called "Babel" because of a virus that affected synaptic connections
in the temporal lobe and caused aphasia. This aphasia matched the
description of Wernicke's aphasia from the intro courses I have
taken.
 Deep Space 9 is syndicated and therefore airs at different times
in different markets, but episodes are usually identified by title in
TV listings. A local Star Trek fan-club will probably have a list of
when the episode will be re-run or will know of someone who taped it.
 If you have never seen the show before, Deep Space 9 is the name
of a Federation-operated space station near the planet Bjore
(spelling unknown). Bjore used to be (until the first episode in
January) ruled by the cruel Cardassians and had several underground
resistance movements.

Marie Egan
University of South Carolina
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Message 3: Administration, and How to survive in the Academy

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1993 10:22:54 -Administration, and How to survive in the Academy
From: AHARRIS - Alan Harris <VCSPC005VAX.CSUN.EDU>
Subject: Administration, and How to survive in the Academy

Haj Ross sent me this recently. I do not know the source (does it matter?) but
I think it will be of great interest to all on this net. best, Alan Harris
=====================================================
TEXT OR AMENDED TEXT FOLLOWS:
=====================================================

At last! I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone found the
*real* reason for bureaucratic inertia...... now all can be revealed....

==========================================================================

 S C I E N T I S T S D I S C O V E R N E W E L E M E N T

The heaviest element know to science was recently discovered by
university physicists. The element, tentatively named
Administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an
atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 15
assistant neutrons, 70 vice neutrons and 161 assistant vice
neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 247. These 247
particles are held together in a nucleus by a force that involves
the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it
can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes
into contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount
of Administratium added to one reaction caused it to take over
four days to complete. Without the Administratium, the reaction
ordinarily occurred in less than one second.

Administratium has a normal half life of approximately three
years, at which time it does not actually decay but instead
undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice
neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Studies
seem to show the atomic number actually increasing after each
reorganization.

Research indicates that Administratium occurs naturally in the
atmosphere. It tends to concentrate in certain locations such as
government agencies, large corporations and universities. It can
usually be found in the newest, best-appointed and
best-maintained buildings.

Scientists warn that Administratium is known to be toxic, and
recommend plenty of fluids and bed rest after even low levels of
exposure.
============================================================================

I also hear that the reaction of Administratium with another new element,
TQMium, is fairly unstable. Sometimes chemical bonding occurs and a new
improved compound is formed. Other times the reaction is more violent with
excessive amounts of heat and darkness being generated and the Administratium
remaining unchanged. It is believed that these differences have some
relationship to the number of "holes" in the support provided
by the various neutrons. Scientists are looking into them.

*****************************************************************
 Pro Forma
 The Magazine for the Busy Academic
Volume 1, Number 1 June, 1992

A new journal devoted to those who do not have time to read it. No
articles - no commentary no book reviews! All sections can be read
in less time than it takes to advise the average undergraduate
student.

Here are some of the topics and sections to appear in the first
issue:

Legal Advisor: "Don't Publish - Don't Perish: Creative Litigation
and Tenure"

The Art of the Conference:

 "Being a Discussant Without Reading the Papers"
 *Opening remarks for every session "These papers
 admirably demonstrate both the strengths and weaknesses
 of the field today." "It is nice to see that some people
 can still get interested in this topic."
 *10 French names that intimidate
 *10 all-purpose long summary sentences with no content
 *The art of academic flattery through easy key words
 "seminal, pathbreaking, essential, fundamental....."

 "The All-Purpose Abstract"
 *Just fill in five blanks and this abstract works in any
 discipline, for any conference.
 *Abstracts that describe any paper you later write
 Postmodern, Positivist, Critical, Feminist

 "When You Just can't write the Paper - Creative Withdrawls
 from the Program"

Easier Publishing:

 "Citation analysis : Journals in your discipline that are
 desperate for papers"

 "Ins and outs of repeat publishing - change that title!"

 "One paper - eight foreign Graduate students - eight
 translations - eight foreign publications - all in six
 months!"

The Tenure and Promotion File:

 "How to form or join a citation circle"
 *agreements that multiply your entries in the annual
 citation index by 10
 "Make a 1-page comment count the same as a book
 "Obscure journals that sound important
 "5 ways to get your book accepted without review"
 "Getting good letters from people who don't know you"

The Pro Forma Bookshelf

 "100 One-Line Current Book Summaries"
 *Allows you to freely cite pages, without buying or
 reading the book!
 *Easy-to remember critiques for conversation or class
 *Classified by discipline
 *Rated for political correctness by our panel

 "Boilerplate - A New Computer Program that Writes Half of your
 Monograph"

 "Classics in Your Discipline"
 *Survey reports how many of your colleagues have actually
 read the classics in your field

Cooperation Column:

 Co-Authorship Exchange
 *Have Data, Need Theory
 *Have Theory, Need Data

Washington Buzzword Watch:
 Regular updates from the Beltway Bandit
 What is Hot in NSF and NEH Panels this year
 Trends in Cross-Disciplinary Buzzword Transmission

Plus! These new columns to appear in the next issue:
 Advising Timesavers
 Dissertation Defenses without Preparation

Advertisers
 Submission Services International
 We reformat and resubmit until you get accepted!
 Thousands of journals on our lists!

 Data Recycling Central
 Don't throw that old data away! We have buyers for good pre-
 owned data sets, lab notes and interview transcripts!

FINALLY, SOME REALLY USEFUL ADVICE ON HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE
ACADEMY!!
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