Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Linguists are wacky

Or at least, so the evidence suggests.

I was reading along yesterday (a grammar, if you must know), and I came across this observation:
"[the clitics] occupy Wackernagel's Position".

No seriously.

Does that not sound vaguely obscene? Or at least in questionable taste?

Of course, the upshot was that I spent the next fifteen minutes chanting "Wackernagel's Position, Wackernagel's Position, Wackernagel's Position" and laughing maniacally. How not? (Go ahead, I dare you to say that and not laugh.)(Heck, I triple dog dare you.)

If you all are not finding this as funny as I did, that might be an indication that the maniacal laughter was more a product of my state of mind, rather than of the inherent funniness of Wackernagel's Position. (But seriously, didn't it make you giggle just a little?)(And wouldn't you think that linguists could do a better job of naming something?)

In fibrous news, I have been knitting. I have, in fact, been knitting my handspun. This scarf is going to be a birthday present for a dear friend of mine; I'm just using one of the stitch patterns from Barbara Walker (I can't remember if it's the first or second treasury; I'll find out and let you know). I'm really pleased with the combination of the tweedy/nubbly handspun and this particular pattern (which is a cabled feather and fan).
The green is a little more browny/yellowy than that. I think you can see the cabling better here. Doesn't it look almost like real yarn?
I should let you know, btw, that's it's not as easy as it seems like it should be to knit a scarf like this in a movie theater. Seriously. There is just not enough light coming from the screen to cable effectively. Ask me how I know.

In other news, I made the pear cake for a faculty meeting today. I think people liked it.
I think there's just enough left to make the girls a nice little dessert tonight, don't you?

P.S. Thank you all so very much for all of the good wishes for Anna; I've been relaying them to her, and she is so appreciative. If you haven't had a chance to either leave her a message, or donate to her walk for a chance to win some yarn, you can check out my post about it here.


Alwen said...

Wackernagel's Position - hee hee hee. I have no idea what it means, but it does sound funny.

I love that green on my monitor.

Am I the only one who often finds the verification "word" funny? Just now I got zuxgxpaw!

Marianne said...

Hey I'm all over the Wackernagel's Position with giggles.
That green on my monitor is divine, and what do you mean.. "doesn't it almost look like real yarn?" Not only does it look very much like real yarn, it IS real yarn! It's beautiful!
That cake looks so yummy. mmmmm, pears.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I was laughing even before you told me to. Heh.

I did that pattern back when I was trying to teach myself to knit lace via Barbara Walker. I made a whole afghan out of it, to try to demystify the process. I don't think it's theater knitting, but my memory is jaded by my then-beginneryness.

knitspot anne said...

that is funny, especially with the word "clitics" inserted there. add in a linguist and well, yeah, you laugh AND cross your legs!

Bea said...

Yes Wackernagel's position does sound a bit off.

I love the scarf. It looks like feather and fan from here.

Anonymous said...

I had to Google Wackernagel's Position, and in an even more hilariously suggestive spin, got a hit titled "Wackernagel's Law and the Placement of the Copula Esse". This blog is now officially rated R for really amusing.

Willow said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who notices the verification words! The other day I got 'heckus'.

The handspun IS real yarn. The realest kind of yarn. The color is wonderfully autumny and the texture is perfect for the pattern!

Anonymous said...

I dread to think what Wackernagel's Position is.

The scarf is gorgeous and what do you mean "real yarn"? What else is it, licorice? Don't denigrade that beautiful handspun. Or I'll.....invoke Verner's Law.

Nana Sadie said...

Ok...the grammarian in me was hooting before I got to your part...is that a misspelling? "Clitics?" Or am I showing my own "arse?"

That stitch pattern looks suspiciously like Feather & Fan! What a lovely scarf it will make...I love F&F, I use a variation of it in my favorite sock pattern.

My word verification is qhxjrvt. I always think they're amusing...

EGunn said...

Your yarn is beautiful. I have also discovered that dark yarn and movie theaters don't mix. Hope you weren't caught with no knitting!

Wackernagel's Position (giggle)! Is it something that lives up to the absurdity of its name?