Uttboro, Indiana: Grammatists at the famed University of Indiana at Uttboro Institute of Grammatical Underlined Physics (UIUIGULP) have announced startling new discoveries in the farfetched realms of extreme grammar.
“The new discoveries may completely change the way we think about grammar,” said Dr. Strontium Toodlehorne, Palin Professor of Experimental Linguistics at the famed University of Indiana at Uttboro Institute of Grammatical Underlined Physics (UIUIGULP). “While theorists have understood the implications for decades, it is only now that we have been able to observe these new entities in, so to speak, the field.”
The new discoveries have been made possible by the creation of the Astonishingly Long and Lame Best Seller (ALLBS), a work of such prodigious extension that 123,000 copies of Ulysses could be fitted into it end-to-end.
“Theoretically speaking, of course,” says Toodlehorne. “If one were actually to bring Joycean material in contact with the exotic grammars achievable in the Astonishingly Long and Lame Best Seller (ALLBS), they would annihilate each other in a burst of nonsense radiation that would wipe all meaning from the face of the Earth. And don’t even think about Nabokov.”
Many of the new findings are counter-intuitive. The grammatists at UIUIGULP say they now have evidence that all syntactical phrases are combinations of quirks in seventy-leven varieties, including the martin, the individual, the irresponsible, the smart-ass, the buttered, and the wackadoo quirk.
Even such familiar grammatical units as personal pronouns have been proven to have high-cacaphony counterparts. There are in fact distinct families of personal pronouns for every human on the planet. Mine include ig, buk, gnoto, deludon, biliueze, gark, and pheb. You can’t have them, they’re mine. I would tell you what they mean but that’s on a need-to-know basis.
Another example of the weird behavior of grammar at levels of incomprehensibility achievable only within the ALLBS is the prevalence of garbled sentences (sentences created when fragments with completely different structures collide). “Grammatists have wondered for a long time,” says Toodlehorne, “why most of the sentences in literature to date have made sense. Logic dictates there should be an equal number of sentences that don’t make sense, but where are they? It turns out they are observable only when conventional grammar is subjected to extraordinary stress in a thought-vacuum, the sort of vacuum which can be maintained for any length of time only within the ALLBS. Though,” he appended, “the fleeting occurrence of such conditions has been theoretically posited within the minds of certain individuals, primarily politicians, lawyers, fundamentalist preachers, and financial analysts.”
Grammatists now think that unusual conditions during the first micro-seconds of the Big Gabfest, when all of language originated, may have selected for sense instead of nonsense. “There’s no other imaginable reason,” Professor Toodlehorne expostulated, “that we should find ourselves in a primarily functional discourse.” Sentences composed of garble resemble ordinary sentences in every respect, he went on to say, except that they are impossible to understand.
“And don’t get me started on comma splices,” he commanded this interviewer. “Did you know that one comma can support the weight of ten thousand overblown sentiments?” As evidence, Toodlehorne cited a recent sentence-like element discovered in the ALLBS: “ . . . completely crapulous fandoogle, the weight of ten thousand overblown sentiments.”
“Just think,” he whispered dreamily, “what would happen if we could splice thousands of commas together. We would have the world on a string.”
The ALLBS was constructed by a team of grammatists who mated John Grisham’s talent, Stephen King’s logorrhea, and Michael Crichton’s politics with a supercomputer programmed to churn out unfathomable prose at rates never before possible.
“A new paradigm is upon us,” Toodlehorne predicted exultantly. “Even more incredible discoveries lie ahead of us in future time. The world we thought we knew is being replaced by the world we never known we thought.”