Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Shaman's Elements of Style: Parts of Speech

Chris Piuma over at Buggeryville asked for a ranking of readers' favourite parts of speech. Geof Huth and Professor Oddfellow have weighed in on the matter, and so here are a few thoughts of mine.


The Quantum grammar, the General and Specific Theory of Semantics, and the Shaman's Elements of Style. Space and time are a continuum, so too must noun and verb, energy and matter. What happens to words in an idiolect collider, when speech is accelerated too close to the speed of light, or comes into the presence of the vast gravitational pull of ideology? Bury a language in wet soil for a thousand years, then bake. A unified theory of grammar understands that there are no cell walls, that grammar has an auto-immune system that seems to mistrust the visitations of the future, yet secretly harbours converso and cryptogrammars, parts of speech which dare not speak their names.

Here, then, is my list of my favourite parts of speech, listed by Periodic Table of the Alphabet order:

1. Voun

2. Nerb

3. Prejective

4. Adnoun

5. Proposition

6. Conicle (infinite and finite)

7. Interverb

8. Artjection

9. Underjunction


Eccentric Scholar said...

One of my favorites is the "helping nerb," the cryptogrammarian's companion during transitory quests.

Geof Huth said...

How'd I forget the underjunction!?


gary barwin said...

I do love the 'helping nerb, and not to run this into the gerrund, but . . . I wonder what is between transitive and intransitive: are there nerbs that have some influence on an object, that have a kind of gravitational pull on the words around them? And vouns just this side of infinitive, not finitive, but infinitive minus one? semifinitive?

And when things are beginning to fall apart, when the sentence will not hold, we have the underjunction with its weak forces. But that's a page from Newtonian grammar. Quantum grammar: The free floating of language in intergrammatical spacetime teaches us that there are more junctions in heaven and words than are dreamt of in our philology.

troylloyd said...


& those infinite junctions are always worth looking for,

sometimes they're right under our feets, sometimes they're telescopic starflung, sometimes the time sums nothing but zero

& thru those holes we go, hummingly.

enjoy'd the post!

a goodread as always,

baking language.