Reduplicated Algonquian Dinosaur Names—G. A. Custer IV SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 4 Contents The Never-Ending Story of Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

Reflections on the Dooms/Punod Manuscript

by Faoi Smacht
University of Khirokitia, Χοιροκοιτία

Arguably the third most-celebrated “mystery manuscript”, behind only the Voynich manuscript and the Warren Commission Report, is the infamous Dooms/Punod Manuscript. This infamous snippet of text has been the downfall of many a young linguist, seeking the rewards that would certainly come from its deciphermentfame, fortune, renown to surpass that of even the most well-known constructors of artificial languages for television shows!

The purpose of this paper is to summarize all that is known about the manuscript, and to relate some of the most well-supported theories and most popular conjectures about the manuscript. First, the text itself, which is reproduced in toto below.

pɐǝɹq ɹoɟ ʇǝʞɹɐɯ oʇuı dooʍs -
ʎlʞǝǝʍ sɯıʍs ʞɹɐɯ ɟı ǝǝs -
¿ƃop ʎɐɹʇs suʍo oɥʍ -
ssɐɹƃ ʍoɯ -
¿ɹǝʍoɥs ɯoɹɟ ploɯ uɐǝlɔ ɯoɯ pıp -
sʞɔos looʍ ʍǝu ʎnq -
pɹɐʇsnɯ ɟo dollop ɥʇıʍ ‘ɥɔıʍpuɐs ʇǝƃ -
ɐɯɯǝ ɹoɟ ǝɯoɥ ƃuıɹqslǝƃɐq xıs -
ʇnɐɹʞ uɐɔ -
ıɯɐɹʇsɐd punod -

The manuscript was originally brought to the attention of scholars in 1960, though it is believed to be much older. Ms. Lavizsia Jeehee reported that she found the manuscript in a bookpossibly 1984, possibly A Canticle for Leibowitz, sources differat a garage sale in New Jersey. As a classically trained philologist, Ms. Jeehee had the rare skills that allowed her to immediately recognize the value of the work. Also, as a classically trained philologist, Ms. Jeehee did not have the money to pay for the book she had found it in, so she stuck the manuscript in her pocketbook and took it without paying for it.

At first, much excitement surrounded the discovery, until Ms. Jeehee, under pressure from her academic peers, made the unfortunate mistake of revealing how she had acquired the document. She was relieved of her tenure, and expulsed from the University of Khirokitia where she had been a professor of philology and classics. As part of her severance agreement, the ownership of the manuscript passed to the University of Khirokitia, and the university did not press charges against her for besmirching its good name with her horrible offense. Rumors have circulated for decades about Ms. Jeehee’s eventual fate. New Jersey court records indicate she worked for a time at a Wegman’s grocery store, until she was fired for repeatedly referring to the store’s wares as WegFood, at which time she filed a wrongful termination lawsuit, which was eventually thrown out of court.

A miasma of awkward survivor guilt attached itself to the manuscript for years, and no one at the University of Khirokitia would so much as examine the document. The manuscript was thought lost until it resurfaced in the 1980s at a garage sale in New Jersey at the home of Ms. Ráðgríð R. Reginleif, a linguistics professor at the University of Khirokitia. Ms. Reginleif claimed not to have realized that she had taken the manuscript home with her, and that she had inadvertently used it as a bookmark in a book she had been readingpossibly 1984, possibly A Canticle for Leibowitz, sources differ. The University also expulsed Ms. Reginleif, and added the document to its Special Cursed Document Collection, where it has remainedavailable to scholars the world overuntil this very day.

The document has been examined by at least a dozen scholars, several associated with at least one institution of mid-level learning, with expertise in fields as diverse and quantumchromolinguistics and chromoquantolinguistics. While many mysteries remain, there are some generally accepted notions.

• While the poem has been repeatedly attributed in the popular press to “i.i. ghoings”, the purported evil anti-matter twin cousin of poet e.e. cummings, this has been definitely disproven by Greek quantumchromopomolitcriticist Ἔλλειψις Ἀπόστροφος, in her influential 2007 paper, “Statistical Cummings and Ghoings in Dooms/Punod Scholarship”.

• The script is generally agreed to be an unknown writing system, but similarities to more familiar scripts clearly indicate that it is descended form the Etruscan alphabet, or a close relative. Russian lingochromoquantumist Косая Черта has posited several reconstructed proto-scripts that demonstrate a plausible line of descent from Etruscan to the current letter forms. However, as her reconstructed scripts also demonstrate a plausible line of decent from the Cherokee syllabary to Egyptian Hieroglyphs (but not the other way around), many dismiss Черта’s work out of hand.

• The right alignment of the manuscript is generally agreed to be indicative of some artistic flourish on the part of the author, rather than indicative of a right-to-left directionality. However, Israeli chromoquantoörthopedist נקודה ופסיק has repeatedly, and some say, convincingly, argued for a right-to-left directionality interpretation, and concomitant Semitic origin of the manuscript.

• Most scholars accept the notion that the document, despite the apparently ancient and unknown writing system, is in a Germanic language. Much has been written about the apparent cognates dooʍs (“dooms”), sɯıʍs (“swims”), ʍoɯ (“mow”), ploɯ (“plow”), ɯoɯ (“wow”), pıp (“pip”), looʍ (“loom”), and dollop (“dollop”). Based on the interpretation of these terms as cognates, the document is considered likely to be a list of commandments, or “dooms”rules the breaking of which will bring doom on one’s self and family. The strictures cover recreation (sɯıʍs), agriculture (ʍoɯ and ploɯ), celebration and entertainment (ɯoɯ and pıp), textiles (looʍ) and food service best practices (dollop).

• The one seemingly recognizable Japanese word suʍo (formerly hypothesized “sumo”), is generally regarded as a false cognate.

• The meaning of the occasional line-initial “¿”-marks is still a generally unaddressed mystery, as is the consistent use of line-final “-”-marks.

There are clearly many mysteries left to uncover, though the cautious linguist is advised not to attempt any such thing. The rewards of the Dooms/Punod Manuscript, though great in magnitude, are few in number, while the risksto heath, wealth, reputation, and even sanityare legion. Some things we are simply not meant to know.

Reduplicated Algonquian Dinosaur NamesG. A. Custer IV
The Never-Ending Story of Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira
SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 4 Contents