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Monday, January 10, 2011

Anarchy Is a Preposition

Grammar is tyranny. This was one of Jared Loughner's tamer obsessions, apparently drawing upon the work of David Wynn Miller, the self-proclaimed "plenipotentiary judge" and developer of something he terms "Quantum Language."

As far as we can tell, Miller's theory is that what we have all come to think of as "normal" grammar and syntax are essentially tools of the powers-that-be, enabling them to control an unwitting population. We're not sure, though, as Miller's website seems to be written in his "Quantum Language" and contains "sentences" like, "FOR THIS PLENIPOTENTIARY-JUDGE: David-Wynn: Miller's-KNOWLEDGE OF THESE CORRECT-SENTENCE-STRUCTURES-COMMUNICATION-PARSE-SYNTAX-LANGUAGE=(C.-S.-S.-C.-P.-S.-L.) IS WITH THE CLAIMS BY THE QUANTUM-LANGUAGE-PARSE-SYNTAX-NOW-TIME-WRITTEN-COMMUNICATION-FACTS." (Need we add, [sic]?)

In fairness, Miller has a point. Grammar is tyrannical: Grammar is rules, and rules are the currency of despots. English grammar, of course, consists of the rules propounded by the very despots that the American founders rebelled against. Indeed, the Declaration of Independence was originally drafted in binary. Pragmatism won out, though, as Ben Franklin convinced Thomas Jefferson that the Declaration would take too long to read if not composed in English. Furthermore, with the Great Parchment Shortage of 1776, there was simply not enough raw material on which to scribble out all those 1's and 0's.

We see this resistance to tyranny in Americans' occasional enthusiasm for made-up languages: Esperanto, Ebonics, French. But all of these "languages" bind their speakers with their own sets of rules--as, we imagine, does "Quantum." Without rules in a language--without the hated bonds of grammar--you have incomprehension, the linguistic equivalent of anarchy. that. wants And nobody

"Suspect's Odd Behavior Caused Growing Alarm"
Judge: David Wynn Miller

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