Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On the lighter side...

This one made me laugh. From the Speculative Grammarian -- "the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics" (a.k.a. the best spot to find esoteric linguistics humor) -- comes this improbable "news item":

Linguists Seek Increased Funding To Fight Potential Aphasic Flu Epidemic
SpecGram Wire Services
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Linguists testified before a joint session of Congress today, raising concern before the lawmakers that the world economy could be crippled by an epidemic of aphasic flu. Linguists representing numerous departments are seeking open-ended funding arrangements that they say provide a chance to mitigate the effects of an outbreak.

Concern about the potential for an aphasic flu outbreak—which would render victims unable to communicate and therefore hinder basic human interactions—rose after speculations about potentially deadly mutations of H5N1, or avian flu, lead to windfall federal spending in vaccination research. Linguists say that another mutation could result in a transmissible form of aphasia, a clinical disorder that effects the production of speech.

“There is an established genetic link for primary progressive aphasia [PPA],” commented Harvard linguist Steven Pinker. “We can’t guarantee that this won’t become a tansmissible disease, in the event of a flu pandemic. The science of lateral gene transfer is just too new.” Extra funding for linguistics would ameliorate the paucity of research into the area.
(article continues)

Well, that would be one way to increase funding for linguistics and communication disorders... And on the bright side, if they used that funding to create an aphasic flu vaccine, SLP's would be the first ones to get it! ;)


Blogger Sarah said...

tee hee

8:01 AM  

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