Jan. 28th, 2011

demonicgerbil: (Default)
After a week off due to the mad rigors of SCIENCE! gone awry, I've returned, a wee bit post-dated, to continue this weekly feature of, Ask an Astrophysicist anything!

Now the question I was asked to answer for this week was "fucking english, how does it work?" and it comes from loyal (at least I hope so!) reader of Ask an Astrophysicist Anything! with a livejournal account named "ninjaweazel."

This is a pretty simple question, and has been answered before by men with far cleverer responses than what I will be able to come up with. I don't know the source or the exact phrasing thus of the answer I will give, thus I am paraphrasing an unknown source's quotation. If you happen to know, dead reader, let me know in the comments.

The English language prefers to lurk in dark alleyways late at night, waiting for other languages, preferably inebriated, to stumble into the alley to take a short cut home or relieve a burdened bladder. At that point, the English language steps out of the shadows, brandishes a blackjack, and then brains the other language. Once unconscious English rifles through the other language's pockets looking for money, drugs, jewelry, and any loose vocabulary. It then stuffs the pilfered items into its own pockets and flees the scene at a brisk pace, while slowly integrating the appropriated foreign words into its every day lexicon. Other languages, such as the prudish French, find this behavior deplorable, but given that they surrender at the drop of a hat, and are carrying numerous venereal diseases, English doesn't, as they say, "Give a damn."

And that dear readers is how English works. Tune in next week for another episode of Ask an Astrophysicist anything! and if you have a burning question to ask, don't be shy about letting me know.