Language is a trippier thing than that

Friday, 12 August 2011

You can have an infinite, well, practically, number of even short phrases in English. It’s so easy. For example–

That aardvark wears Gucci.

I would all but bet my life that that is the first time that phrase has ever been uttered, printed, or even thought. And it’s four words. It becomes trivial to draw it out to something impossible to resist: That visiting aardvark persistently demonstrated a marked preference for Italian silk textiles, and particularly Gucci scarves, each autumn when the weather turned.

Consider another phrase–

Jesus Christ, I wish I’d married your sister instead.

We can all agree, I’m certain, that this phrase has no chance of being novel, nor will any of its obvious variations.

Until socio-psycho-linguistic sciences can predict with some demonstrable accuracy, even if slight, the statistics and model of each, well… socio-psycho-linguistic sciences just really don’t rate as far as science goes; though I’m certain there is a Pentagon contractor at MIT who’d disagree.

Update, 4 September 2016. Strangely enough I thought to check one of my song lyrics against Google just to see it was at least semi-original…

“You cannot tame an emu”

Same result, 0, for “can’t.”

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