In the poll, four hundred human linguists around the world were asked what they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. 29% of them said they would choose Chomsky’s Lectures on Government and Binding, 29% preferred Pike’s Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior, 39% picked Lamb’s An Outline of Stratificational Grammar, and the other 3% said they would bring their spouses along to serve as and to get more informants.
Supporters of Chomsky say that in this era of anarchy and disillusionment a strong government both binding and blinding linguists of different persuasions is a blessed solution. While advocating tight control on the disposal of industrial waste, Chomsky suggests putting up filters at the vents of all underwater sewage pipes in order to clean up the Boston harbor. Trying hard to change his image in Massachusetts as a guy soft on crime, he also promises to put all the ruleless elements in the region behind bars. Two state prisons, nicknamed “X double-bar” and “S triple-bar”, are already under construction.
Meanwhile, Pike, a biolinguist specializing in the study of four-celled organisms, is still strong in Texas, his adopted home state. But apparently, Pike’s global message that human behavior is in general polemic and pathetic must have backfired. Moreover, people have started to question his role in the Chimsky-Washoe scandal. So his top aides are now trying to make up with Longacre, the former campaign manager who coined the catchy slogan, “Vote for Pike, no tax hike.”
When asked to comment on the results of the poll, Dr. Davy Keystone, a.k.a. the Robert Redford of linguistic circles, the man picked by Lamb to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, said, “I’m not surprised at all because Outline is as effective as two Lectures and doesn’t upset my stomach.”
Reported by Psammeticus Quarterly’s chief field worker in the Soviet Union.