Homophonic Aphorism Confusions Clarified—Donald N.S. Unger SpecGram Vol CLXXX, No 4 Contents Maybelline and the Cliché Caper—Anita G. Gorman

Evidence of Extraterrestrial Contact in English Function Words

Wolf Muddler
Functionalism and Binding Institute

The distribution of the phoneme /ð/ in English is somewhat peculiar. It is normally confined to word-internal positions, with one strange exception. Function words may have /ð/ in initial position, provided that the second phoneme is a vowel. This is usually explained in the following way:

[ð] was an allophone of /θ/ in Old English, occurring between vowels. Many Old English words ended with /e/, which has been muted in modern English. Since function words are generally unstressed, their word boundaries were weaker, thus causing the initial /θ/ to be interpreted as intervocalic, and pronounced as [ð]. Eventually, this process became fossilized, and its environment lost, leading to the distinction between [θ] and [ð] to become marginally phonemic.

According to the principle of Occam’s Razor, we must seek the simplest possible explanation for any given phenomenon. The sheer complexity of the explanation given above therefore renders it highly suspect. It is much more likely that the function words with initial /ð/ are in fact loanwords from an extraterrestrial language.

In evidence of this, consider the fact that any alien lifeforms capable of making contact with Earth in the Anglo-Saxon period would be much more technologically advanced than humans. Such contact would therefore leave its mark on the subsequent development of human technology.

Now consider that to type the character ð on a Linux computer requires the keyboard sequence CONTROL + SHIFT + uf0 ENTER.

The proof is staring us in the face.

[N.B.: It is true that every Linux user we’ve ever met has been a little... alien. Seems legit. —Eds.]

Homophonic Aphorism Confusions ClarifiedDonald N.S. Unger
Maybelline and the Cliché CaperAnita G. Gorman
SpecGram Vol CLXXX, No 4 Contents