It’s 2 A.M., Do You Know What Your RNA is Doing?
A Scientific Explanation of Language Change
by A. Real Scientist-Person
This paper is a proper scientific explanation of that phenomenon
usually referred to as “language change”. As this is addressed to a
non-scientist audience, indeed, probably people in the Humanities, I
will attempt to keep it as simple as possible and avoid technical terms
such as “multinuclearmediatedcoacervation”, “Methionine” and “cell”.
Now, as everyone knows, language is directly coded into our DNA, and
DNA is this remarkably clever stuff that knows how to exactly replicate
itself. Anyone who has ever seen a model of DNA also knows that it
resembles a smallish spiral staircase with technicolour steps, except
of course Mitochondrial DNA which is annular (i.e. replicates only once
a year) and certain types of viral DNA which tends to hang out in bars.
Well, anyway, unlike the average spiral staircase, DNA unzips itself
and, grabbing onto passing half-steps, creates 2 bits of DNA that look
exactly like the original bit. Now, DNA, left to itself, is very, very
careful and so all its bits look just like all its other bits, But, as
it is more or less forced to unzip in public, the DNA is also prey to
passing bits of RNA which sidle up to the unsuspecting DNA and offer to
run messages to other areas and speed up the replication. The DNA,
being friendly and naive stuff, usually accepts these offers. Unlike
DNA, RNA is sometimes careless and sloppy, and forgets exactly which
sequence the message is supposed to be in. Of course an honest
submicroscopic construct would simply admit this and take the
consequences, but the RNA, which is, though we don’t like to say these
sorts of things about our own submicroscopic constructs, somewhat
unreliable, tends to make things up. So vital DNA coding may be
changed, and when this occurs in the DNA areas associated with
language, the language will change as well.
Thus, once again, science makes simple a problem that has been plaguing lesser minds for years.
Giftnostril, Euridyce H. 1988. The Nightlife of Viral DNA. Erotic Press, New York.
Scientist-Person, A. Real. 1986. How to Observe
Multinuclearmediatedcoacervation Without Being Arrested. PhD
Dissertation, University of Lesser Granflurt Island.
Scientist-Person, A. Real. 1990. Training Your RNA: Sloppy Habits
Can Be Changed. Journal of Gene Behaviour Modifications 45: 122-156.
Warblethanger, Q. 1990. Decorating Your Double Helix. Ladies Home Journal, October: 25-29.
||A Laboratory Test of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis—Andrew Jenkins
||The Priority of Written Language—Andreas Paplopogous
||Babel Vol I, No 3 Contents