Dateline: College Town, New Mexico
Less than a week after the History Department was accused of inventing a biography of a fictitious American president, the university‘s Language Department has announced the creation of a new artificial language: NewerSpeak®. An artificial language, NewerSpeak® has been designed to be the most modern language on the planet, a language that can be spoken by everyone.
Originally, the language will be taught by the department’s German professors. When asked about the change, Dr. Grumbles, the department’s senior German professor, said, “We had to do something: no one wants to speak German anymore. Even the Germans are switching to Turkish.”
Explaining the new language, Dr. Grumbles added, “This language has been specifically designed to be easy to learn. Students study for weeks trying to learn the past tense in most languages. With NewerSpeak®, you just use the present tense and add the word ‘yesterday’ to the end. We do pretty much the same thing with the future tense by adding the word ‘tomorrow’ at the end of the sentence. In this way, we can have students speaking grammatically within a month.”
The new language will feature some striking innovations, including a special verb tense, the subjunctive reflexive, for things you wish you could have might have said. And especially appealing to Texans, personal pronouns have been simplified. The first person plural is expressed as us’ins and the third person plural is referred to as y’all.
Among other unique features, NewerSpeak® is designed to be instantly understood by anyone, simply by yelling. And there are three tenses reserved solely for profanity. NewerSpeak® has been designed with sign language built in. Currently, the department is preparing a special edition of an audio 4-CD instruction course for the new sign language.
Asked how the department had designed the new language, Dr. Grumble said that the new language takes the best features of several existing artificial languages such as Esperanto and Klingon, combines them with the simplicity of Pig Latin and Double Dutch, and then adds a little flavor by throwing in the hand gestures of Italian. Dr. Grumbles proudly proclaimed, “We have moved out of the days when language merely evolves-this language is the result of intelligent design! This is language 2.0, a language designed for the new millennium!”
Viewed as a major breakthrough in the teaching of languages, this will probably be the most noteworthy achievement of the department since the publication of “Quomodo Invidiousulus Nomine Grinchus Natalem Christi Abrogaverit.” (New York, 2008.)
Part of the motivation behind designing the language was need for the department to increase revenues. Shrinking enrollment for some languages coupled with departmental budget cuts means that new sources of income must be found. "We are working on several vocabulary expansion packs that can be sold, and the department has just finished designing a verb tense designed to be used in the fireplace and chimney construction industry; the flu-perfect," explained Dr. Grumbles.
The department will offer a two-year minor in the new language. The first year will consist of classes centered on intensive conversation and the second year is a repeat of the first year, but the tuition will be doubled.
When asked what prompted the department to create the new language, Dr. Grumbles explained that it grew out of the violence along the border of Mexico.
A Mexican bandit had recently made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas. Finally, a large reward was offered for his capture, and an enterprising Texas Ranger, Charles Sadler, decided to track him down.
After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, snuck up behind him, put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit's head, and said, "You're under arrest. Tell me where you hid the loot or I'll blow your head off."
But the bandit didn't speak English, and the Ranger didn't speak Spanish. As luck would have it, a bilingual lawyer was in the saloon and translated the Texas Ranger's message. The terrified bandit blurted out, in Spanish, that the loot was buried under the oak tree in back of the cantina.
"What did he say?" demanded the Ranger.
The lawyer answered, "He said, 'Get lost, Gringo. You wouldn't dare shoot me.'"