The Linguistic Placebo Effect—I. Tinerant SpecGram Vol CLXXI, No 3 Contents L’Ishing du Gwujlang III—Dorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf
Psammeticus Press

Parenting Styles and Progeny SuccessA Practical Guide to Broken-Record Parenting
The Linguistics Edition
by Professor Pachydermatous Anoplothere, Ph.D.
Department of Practical Linguistics and Applied Onomastics, University of Glenboggin, Scotland
Published 2014. Hardback, 174 pages. Price: $29.95; 3 for $69.99

Parents, do you feel like a broken record? “Bath time!” ... “Shut the door!” ... “Don’t talk with your mouth full!” ... “Stop hitting your brother!” ... “Be quiet!” ... The list of repetitive parental complaints seems endless and, at times, fruitless. But now you can put the nature of your nurture to work for you and your child!

All parents want their children to succeed. Our research shows that the repeated exposure to concepts and jargon from scientific and academic fields in childhood is highly correlated with academic and professional success in related fields in later life.

If you don’t understand that statement, then you need this book. Your children need this book.

In simple terms, children who hear their parents using the language of their professions at home are more likely to succeed in related fields themselves. And of course, parents can’t help but let their professional jargon seep into their everyday lives at home with the kids.

Children with parents who are doctors, lawyers, and scientists are more likely to become doctors, lawyers, and scientists. Academically and professionally, such children are “born on third base”but they still reap the benefits of crossing home plate.

If you haven’t personally had the opportunity to achieve such academic and professional successpossibly because of all those pesky kids you haveyou can still instill in your children an implicit knowledge and inherent interest in a variety of subject areas.

Simply replace the broken-record phrases you already regularly blurt out without thinking with jargon-heavy equivalents. You don’t really need to understand what you are sayingyour children will pick it up the same way they learned their first language: in spite of you.

Each edition contains hundreds of common parenting phrases, translated into field-specific jargonful variants. Below is a small sampling from the Linguistics Edition.

Don’t talk with your mouth full!Excess food in your mouth decreases the accuracy and completeness of your articulatory movements, decreasing the intelligibility of your utterances.

No hitting! Use your words.While the expressive modality of physical violence is emotionally cathartic, it is not conducive to the clear expression of your meaning and intent. Verbaland in the case of sign languages, manualmodes of communication are more nuanced and induce a more consistent understanding of your needs and desires in your communicative partner.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.If you are unwilling or unable to engage in pro-social forms of communication with your peers and other community members, you would be less likely to offend or damage social relationships by refraining from engaging in discourse.

No swearing!The use of certain taboo words, which vary from culture to culture and have no inherent meaning or power, is nonetheless a strong signifier of unwillingness to engage in polite society. Though your usage is non-literal, both the connotation and denotation of such wordsin a pragmatic, rather than strictly grammatical, sensewill mark you as a member of an undesirable social group.

Be quiet!Consider the theoretical implications of null morphemes and over-generalization of the whankydoodle constraint on surface forms of language. Practice becoming proficient in their use.

Other available editions include:

The Physics and Engineering Edition

Close the door! You’re letting the heat out!Close the door! You have compromised the thermal integrity of our domicile!

The Mathematics and Computer Science Edition

Have you seen my car keys, my cell phone, or my purse?Design and implement an effective algorithm for determining the location of lost items. Input should include such parameters as last known location, most common location, approximate size and shape, attractiveness to toddlers and household pets, and the geographic boundaries of the search space. Output should be a probability distribution of the item’s location across the specified geographic area, along with an optimized path for visiting high probability locations.

The Psychology and Sociology Edition

Be nice to your sister!You have disrupted the balance of familial harmony with your sibling-directed careless words and selfish actions. How can you best rectify this situation?

The Law Edition

Did you break that vase? I know you did!I have significant evidentiary support for the claim that you, hereafter known as the defendant, broke, caused to break, or incited the breakage of my property, in violation of the implicit and customary parent/child contract. How do you plead?

The Philosophy Edition

Go to your room and think about what you’ve done.Go to your room and think deeply about what you’ve done.

The Biology, Chemistry, and Medicine Edition

Bath time!The regular application of a mildly basic detergent agent to your skin and hair will eliminate unwanted environmental contaminants, bacteria and other potential parasites, and malodorous bodily secretions.

The Interior Design Edition

Stop drawing on the walls!Do you really think green crayon complements the color scheme of this room?

The Literature and Art History Edition

Do you know what you want to order?Listen to the nice wage slave say, “Do you want fries with that?” Can you say, “Do you want fries with that?”, too?

And if you haven’t yet had children, be sure to get Dr. Anoplothere’s guide to child-naming: Dennis the Dentist: A Practical Guide to Applied Onomastics, from Actuaries to Zoologists, also available from Psammeticus Press.

The Linguistic Placebo EffectI. Tinerant
L’Ishing du Gwujlang IIIDorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf
SpecGram Vol CLXXI, No 3 Contents