Features of Tea: A Potted History—Pete Bleackley SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 2 Contents Which Tea You Should Be Drinking—A Guide by Linguistic Subdiscipline—Hitosarai Yōkai Ūron

The Search for a Universal Beverageme is Futility

Ferdinand de Ramotswe

As this issue of Speculative Grammarian is devoted to the linguistics of a beverage, I would like to take the opportunity to look at claims recently made in the burgeoning field of beveragologyclaims which unfortunately turn out to constitute just so much empty verbosity. I refer, of course, to the near-frantic search for a Universal Beverageme (UB), whose putative existence seems to follow merely from a vague hope that all beverages underlyingly derive from some sort of mystical Beverage Unity.

No doubt the quest for such abstract units belongs to a long tradition in Linguistics, but the fact remains that no convincing proof has yet been advanced in defense of any specific UB proposal, nor is there any compelling reason to afford this entire research program any status beyond that of an assault on scholarly credulity.

The claims of coffee devotees notwithstanding, the fact remains that there is no beverage which has achieved universal popularity. Carbonated drinks undoubtedly come nearest to achieving the mark, but ultimately fail the test of universality due to inconsistent naming: “pop,” “soda,” “soft drink,” and even “coke” constitute not a unitary category but a reification-resisting ontogenetic multiplicity. Ultimately, all claimants to the title “universal” have been found wanting, lacking any truly profound universality.

Without doubt, all beverages, whatever their compositionality, satisfy the thirsty; this much we can state with certainty. What has achieved no more clarity, in thirty years of research in my own university and by the scholarly community, is why observed diversity becomes perceived unitywhy eticity and emicity fail to remain in complementarity, resulting in the unanimity of that popular falsity which is recommended to us as a “Universal Beverageme”whose existence is proven by all scientific pursuit to be pure fictionality.

As a concept, the Universal Beverageme has perhaps utility, but clearly no reality. To lay to rest, at long last, this empty theory, I urge researchers to act with agility, while they still have facility, for they may soon reach senility and lose the ability.

Features of Tea: A Potted HistoryPete Bleackley
Which Tea You Should Be DrinkingA Guide by Linguistic SubdisciplineHitosarai Yōkai Ūron
SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 2 Contents