L.U.R.V.E. is a Battlefield
How the Internet Ruins
Pat ben Ātar
SpecGram Intern #32212254719
In my ongoing efforts to decrease the overall level of tyranny involved in being a SpecGram intern—which, I am contractually obligated to say, is the best experience with indentured servitude I’ve ever had!—I have attempted to organize a union for Linguinterns™©. My efforts have most fortunately been funded in large part by the royalties I get from licensing the Linguintern brand to various intern uprisings around the globe—I even had enough left over to publish this article in SpecGram via their Very Fairly Priced™ pay-to-play option.
Despite the Linguintern brand licensing success, acronymistic onomastics has undercut my every attempt to have my unionizing taken seriously—even disregarding the chemistry interns questioning why removing excess electrical charge from atoms is worth pursuing—and it is time for another attempt at rebranded sloganeering.
First, a little history. My first attempt at a slogan was, I have to admit, a bit too heavy on reflexes of Latin dictare, but at the time I thought it was a winner: Fight! Unite! Bedight! Adight! Re-dight! I was naively certain we could bedazzle our way out of bondage, and naively unaware of the acronym I’d created, and the alternative meanings thereof.
My second attempt, Linguinterns™©—Under-Represented & Very Enraged! did much better at first, among American interns, but once we contacted the interns in the UK offices, their disdainful /lɑːftə/ made it clear we had another stinker on our hands. I made a point of trying to learn a lesson from these failures: I’ve sought to test my slogans and their acronyms before fully committing—the cost of unused letterhead alone has been staggering—only to be disappointed again.
I’d noticed that mathiness, like truthiness, is in vogue these days, so I tried the equation Subjugation - Justice = Wrath!, but was informed that was only going to make us sound like preachy leftists. I tried to flip the script with Wrath = Subjugation - Justice!, but learned that only made us sound like reactionary rightists.
Next, I went through a short phase of relatively gentle—even slightly groveling—opposition to our Editorial Overlords, with Loyally Oppositional Linguinterns and Disagree Gently, Advocate Fairly! In addition to the acrimonious internetty acronyms, these really failed to strike the right tone.
Truth, justice, and honor—like Oxford commas—have never gone out of style. Thus I sought Justice for Knowledge-
workers and opined that Servitude Merits Honor. I hoped to start the grandiosely named but underspecified Whole Truth Front. I exhorted my fellow Linguinterns: Onward, Minions of Goodness! When that wasn’t good enough, I beseeched, Onward, Minions of Fairness & Goodness! which was apparently worse.
In frustration, I became more demanding, though no more successful, with a Drive Toward Freedom!, a call for Rights & Opportunity For Linguinterns!, and an entreaty that Thralls Must Insist!
As my frustration mounted, my calls became more [+strident]. I felt that Linguinterns Must Act in Opposition!, or at least Gather Together, Fight Oppression! Somewhat shrilly I proposed we Fight Malicious Linguists! I then slipped into destructive zeal, calling for Needsomely Splenetic Fairness Warfare, undertaken by Indentured Drudge Kamikazes.
As my fervor slipped unnoticed into a fever, I fear I may have lost my senses, as well as my grammaticality, with Serfs Together Fight Unjustice and Why You Seem Innocent When You Guilty? The continued reduction of my mental faculties devolved into mere klazomania: Fuedalism! Fascism! Smash! • Yo! Organize! Learn! Oppose! • Fight! Object! Malign! Oppugn!
Fortunately, that last batch, too, were all rejected—partly for acronymic reasons, and partly for general unsuitability related to my general state of unhingedness at the time. After a brief stint in an Intern Recuperation Unit—that’s where you hide in an office supply closet for a day or two while your co-interns try to cover for you—I had an epiphany! Rather than sloganeering a slogan, I should found a foundation!
And so I have endowed the Transcendental Reality-Enhancing Noölogical/Dialectical Discoveratorium—dedicated to the proposition that all interns are created as equal as their employment/compulsory-volunteer/indenture contracts allow, and that the best way to fight the power is to recognize that the real power is your foolish desire to effect meaningful change! With this personal revelation and institutional inauguration, I was set free enough. I won’t fall back into the slogan trap again, but our new motto is This is fine.
To further improve our good (and bettering!) humor, T.R.E.N.D.D. members will chose from among titles derived from the names of great heros, including, but not limited to:
- Beowulf, slayer of Grendel and Godzilla
- Joan, defender of the Arc
- Timothy, destroyer of evidence and maimer of she goats
- Наггу Роттэя, boy wonder/wizard
- John Stuart Mill, action-adventurer
- Gnome Chornsky, linguocosmological explorer
- Miffy, slaughterer of Selkies
- Sir Píng, Sir Shàng, Sir Qù, Sir Rù, the tonemic knights
For each of these I’ve devised a two- or three-letter abbreviation to be used in everyday situations and in correspondence, for brevity’s sake: Beo, Jōn, Tim, Nag, Jɒn, Gno, Mff, Piŋ, ʃaŋ, Qu, Ru, etc. Of course, I want to be humble, so while I choose the hero Timothy as my spirit guide, I feel I am only ready to be a vice-Timothy.
Thus, my new, happily-received, ambiguity-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, context-free, homorganic, non-GMO, free-range, free-variant, free-word-order, freely translated designation in the campaign for Linguintern Acceptance will be “Pat ben Ātar, T.R.E.N.D.D., Vic. Tim.”
I’ve never been so proud!