Controvertible Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 2 Contents A Venery of Terms—Part I—Collective Nouns for Linguists—X. Altaysh & Uvlarr Ksss

As All That Glitters is Not Gold:
Disappointing Parapsycho­linguistics

Nadia d’Orro
Department of Discoursive Aposiopetic Intertextuality & Mentalism
Universitet of Scandinavia, Detroit

As for me, I’ve spent the last eighteen months intermittently investigating Will Styler’s initially intriguing claim that “Speech is an Elaborate Cover for Widespread Telepathy,” (SpecGram CLXX.4, August, 2014). Unlike Mr. Styler, I am aware of the (admittedly sparse) literature that precedes him. Gebhard von Blucher and Moira Daugherty many years earlier investigated “The Role of Language in Telepathic Communication” (The Journal of the Linguistic Society of South-Central New Caledonia I.4, August,1991).

As with many Great Ideas, these two complement each other nicely. While von Blucher & Daugherty have concluded on empirical grounds that “telepathic communication is linguistic communication,” Styler makes a more abstractly motivated appeal via Occam’s Razor, concluding that there must be a “species-wide telepathic link.”1 Whither now? If both science and philosophy agree,2 we must be at the precipice of an entangled quantum leap of knowledge.3

As is so often the case, the most important academic and scientific advancement in a paper has been relegated to a footnote.6 Styler is no different, offhandedly commenting that a by-product of his analysis is a confirmation of Linguistic Relativity (Styler, fn 4).

As soon as I realized the relevance to and of linguistic relativityand given that partial communication is possible among speakers of related languages7coupled with the apparent fact that “speech”-related vocal tract movements8 are required components of communicationeven telepathic communicationI concluded that the combination of neural patterns in mental-space and patterns of flappy bits in meat-space must serve some purpose in focusing or directing the telepathic signal.

As the more attentive and erudite reader must surely have concluded, this is essentially the definition of an antenna, unfortunately bringing Parapsycho­linguistics firmly into the realm ofalas! alack! alarum!physics. The field of linguistics is already burdened with the domestic albatross of acoustic phonetics and all-too-frequent foreign incursions from biologists and physicists;10 we need not invite more of their ilk into our midsts.

As disappointing as this isboth to and of Parapsycho­linguisticsit is not entirely unexpected. Styler all but assured this or similar outcome when he prophesied “a new golden age in our field.” No golden age, past or future, has ever existed in the presentonly in the nostalgia-addled or pollyannaism-muddled minds of the misguided.

As for me, I will continue my investigative research, safely ensconced in the UofS DisApoIntMent Dept, where we do not give credence to aurum auguries, content enough just to be in our ivory towers.

1 As an aside, it must be noted that his claim that speech serves “primarily as a cover-up to prevent widespread persecution of telepathic communicators” is significantly more dubious. If we are all telepathic communicators, who is going to persecute whom? Perhaps persecution is just an inherent part of the human condition.

2 As an aside, I use “agree” in the loosest sense here, since the theories of von Blucher & Daugherty and Styler only agree in the presence of telepathic communication, but are fundamentally at odds in terms of the details. However, we shall not allow such detail to derail the narrative or defail this undertaking.

3 As an aside, this is admittedly hyperbolic, and a slight dig4 at “E.Q.” and “G.M.-G.”, whose problematic appearance in our story is yet to come.5

4 As an aside that is somewhat further aside, perhaps a “digging slight” would be equally, if not more, appropriate.

5 As an aside that wanders even further afield, I am considering dubbing this sort of argumentation “Chopra’s Razor,” which is used to slice up your adversaries (rather than their arguments) by introducing nonsensical quantumness into your own arguments, so as to debilitate your opponent by giving them an anti-logic migraine.

6 As to references, see Jones, “On the Speculative Grammarian,SpecGram CLXXIII.1, May 2015, fn 4.

7 As examples, consider Spanish and Portuguese, Dutch and German, or Volapük and sticking your hand in a running garbage disposal.

8 As a generalization, consider also sign language hand movements or the non-optional gestures of native speakers of Italian-American English.9

9 As to the application and role of hand movements in writing and eye movements in reading vis-à-vis telepathic communication, the matter is left as a dissertation topic for the sufficiently interested and excessively motivated reader-researcher.

10 As one should not name names, I shall refrain from sharing specifics, but the names of the worst offenders rhyme with Entin Quatkinson and Gurray Mell-Gann, respectively.

Controvertible Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira
A Venery of TermsPart ICollective Nouns for LinguistsX. Altaysh & Uvlarr Ksss
SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 2 Contents