Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!*
Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust us
My girlfriend doesn't believe in linguistic determinism, does this mean we aren't meant for each other?
—Fated to be Singular?
Dear Question Mark,
Your query puzzled me, for two reasons.
First, if your girlfriend doesn’t believe in linguistic determinism, how come she and you became girlfriend and boy-
Second, think about what you’re saying, out of the language. If linguistic determinism mattered independently of the English words for it and the amorous quagmires the stupid language thus spawns forth among its speakers, would you be asking this question?
By the way, send your girlfriend’s measurements and her preferred contact. I’m multilingual, so linguistic determinism makes no sense at all to me, I haven’t been plural for quite a while because of that, and her mindset attracts me. I also believe that measurements matter. Does she? By the way, I’m a big boy.
SLAC Unit #4d6164616c656e61
Yes, I’m afraid it does mean that. How silly of your girlfriend to believe that language (which humans invented with their brains) isn’t more powerful than the human brain! You should dump her immediately and move furiously on to colorless greener pastures.
On an unrelated topic, if your soon to be ex-girlfriend needs help overcoming her loss, please send her to:
SLAC Unit #4461766964
℅ SpecGram Linguistics Advice Collective
SpecGram Towers Bldg 47
11235 Panini Place
Relational, GA 30023
We have staff on hand prepared to give her intensive counseling.
—SLAC Unit #4461766964
Dear Forever Alone,
While your girlfriend has already demonstrated a superior intellect in seeing through linguistic determinism, you may still be able to rescue the relationship. Firstly, look for studies that involve actual data and do not include the word “gavagai” or a reference to a dead philosopher. Then, bump into someone bilingual and count how many brains they have. Lastly, bring a large bunch of flowers to your girlfriend with a card including the words “like these flowers, I am linguistically determined to be included in your arms.”
SLAC Unit #4a6f6e617468616e
Pah! If all you can manage to base a relationship on is linguistic determinism, she doesn’t need you anyway. Nobody does. Relationships require depth, not platitudes; semantics, not idiomaticity. Give her the freedom she deserves from your type.
Sheesh. Who keeps accepting letters from these losers? Is it improving our ratings?
—SLAC Unit #4b65697468
Dear Fated To Be Single,
Teach your girlfriend Klingon, and she’ll soon embrace the Sapir-
—SLAC Unit #50657465
You need a language with a first-
—SLAC Unit #42696c6c
Dear Alone, So Very Very Alone,
Remember: Linguistic determinism is itself linguistically determined. You have to ask yourself, does she really not believe in linguistic determinism, or is that merely a misunderstanding on your part
If it turns out that she really does not believe in linguistic determinism, then you need to investigate further. You must next determine whether this lack is due to a less serious cause, such as bilingualism, that will correct itself with the passage of time (assuming, of course, there is no exposure in the meantime)
In the latter case, you must make a choice: Are your feelings for her strong enough to carry you through the next few decades of increasing neurological degradation? Given the fact that you wrote to us about it in the first place, I suspect not, very not indeed. In that case, you know what must be done. Be strong, but remember it is for a greater cause.
—SLAC Unit #4d696b61656c
Dear Sappy in the Singular,
Your girlfriend is right. Linguistic determinism is provably untrue (despite what SLAC Unit #4461766964, SLAC Unit #4d696b61656c, SLAC Unit #42696c6c, or SLAC Unit #50657465 may say)
However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t “meant” for each other. Is the English -/s/ plural marker “meant” for words that end in voiceless stops? Is -/z/ “meant” for the voiced ones? You are asking the wrong question. Is your pairing felicitous? Are you easily co-articulated? That’s what matters!
—SLAC Unit #54726579
Perhaps, she thinks you are mad.
How every night, you open your Hopi grammar, turning the pages
Oh, she will laugh to see how cunningly you publish, and she will believe!
And you, then, in the wild audacity of your perfect triumph, will smile,
Now, I must go. The bell is sounding the hour and I must replace certain planks from the flooring of my chamber ‘ere dawn.
—SLAC Unit #5368657269
* Advice is not guaranteed to be useful, practical, or even possible. Do not attempt at home. Consult a doctor (of linguistics, philology, or
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