Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do you want to feel like a fish in the river at diplomatic meetings?

There are times when Lunacy is necessary. This is one of them.

I have been collecting the headers from spam messages which are blocked by the server at work.

Raise your belove couch adventures with worthwhiled drugs!

Most of these seem to follow a fairly set pattern:

Verb/ possessive pronoun/Adjective/Adjective/noun (Optional extra phrase as in example above)

Hoist your lover night event
Heave your lover bed experience
Uplift your sweet nighttimes
heave your darling sexual adventures

Of course, you could treat ‘lover bed experience’ as a noun. Crazy but possible.

Syntactically these make sense, although semantically its nonsense, which makes me suspect translation software at work. Hoist/heave/uplift sound like bad choices for raise or lift or maybe improve. Love night experience/lover bed experience/darling sexual adventures/belove couch adventures all sound like euphemisms for sexual experiences which would give us a putative ur-phrase:

Improve your sexual experiences. However, because the syntax works, I “understand” the mangled sentences. Someone is trying to sell me drugs to improve my sex life.

However, the ones I have enjoyed most don’t fall into this pattern and don’t work backwards to anything logical and so in a sense are nonsense:

Love comes to the one who its itself does

This isn’t susceptible to any kind of grammatical analysis which would back form a syntactically sane sentence (Noun/verb/object/possessive pronoun/pronoun(reflexive?Emphatic?)/verb), nor can I imagine what it might mean (though I have had fun speculating). In Le Cercle’s terms, as I understand them, the fact that it is neither syntactically nor semantically meaningful means it’s meaningless.

However, the next two sentences make syntactic sense but are semantic nonsense.

Your nose is hung because you are not hung

I understand the idiom “to be hung” but not what it’s got to do with a nose being hung.
And finally, my favourite so far this month:

Do you want to feel like a fish in the river at diplomatic meetings?
Syntactically this makes sense. But semantically does this mean: At diplomatic meetings, do you want to feel like a fish in the river? (Would that be good or bad? A fish is at home in a river but they don’t go to diplomatic meetings)
Or does it mean; Do you want to feel as absurd as a fish at a diplomatic meeting?
Or, boringly, did someone mean: Do you want to feel like a fish out of water at diplomatic meetings?

The joys of Syntax. At some stage I want to use this to test drive something Le Cercle says about language, and also to compare it with what Joyce was doing.

If I stick it here I’ll remember.

Anyone who can decode the last three phrases is welcome to leave a comment.

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