A Laboratory Test of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis—Andrew Jenkins Babel Vol I, No 3 Contents The Priority of Written Language—Andreas Paplopogous

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 HypothesisAndrew Jenkins
The Priority of Written LanguageAndreas Paplopogous
Babel Vol I, No 3 Contents