Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dude, Where's My Hyphen?

There comes a certain occasion for all of us – that terrifying, yet all too magical rite of passage in which, passion flooding our young senses, we lose our hyphen. Not that I wish to name names, but:

I wouldn't know about this, if not for summer vacation. This is just the kind of thing you miss out on in The City, where the urban media are way too busy shoving its sissy-ass “international unrest” and “presidential elections” down your throat to be bothered with the REAL news. The City spits on world dehyphenization affairs, and if you don’t believe me, consider the city motto.*

Of course it’s easy to understand why Wal “Now With Less Hyphens” Mart would want to repackage itself. Back in the old days, the store was a miserable, blue-aproned mega-corpse; whereas now, it’s a miserable, blue-aproned mega-corpse featuring … WHOA-BABY!!! A flagrant lack of HYPHEN!!! In my FACE!!! Somebody restrain me lest I commit BRAZEN CARNAL ACTS with MULTIPLE STORE ASSOCIATES AT ONCE!!!!!!**

So this is a very exciting development in Walmartland, but still, I have some concerns about this act of mass hyphen removal, seeing as it poses a grave threat to the nation’s hyphen resources. So where do you think all those extra hyphens go, anyway? My theory: the economic stimulus package. Clearly, the government is secretly hoarding these hyphens to give to economically strapped individuals in this time of crisis.

Q: Will this provide these individuals with financial security?
A: No.

Q: Will it provide them with jobs?
A: No.

Q: Will it do squat?
A: Yes. Or possibly we mean no. We forget how this question works.

Q: Speaking of these trying times, how about that public library in your town opening an eatery in the reference room, huh?
A: Shut your dirty, interrogative face. Everyone knows the old adage, “There’s nothing quite like going down to the local library and curling up with a good wiener.”***

Q: And speaking of the highly suspicious, how about that song lyric on the radio just now? The one that went, “Why do I see rainbows when I hold you in my arms?”
A: We believe this may suggest a thyroid problem.

It is only natural that desperate financial times should call for desperate financial measures, but in this case the solution is simple: Europe should sell off its excess verb tenses.**** Does anyone realize how many of these there are? French alone has 759 totally unnecessary tenses*****, a few of which I will illustrate here, by speaking English:



The present

It is raining.

The past

It was raining.

The present-past

It is was raining.

The past-future-present

It was will be is raining.

The present-participle

It is raining participles.

The future-creamsicle

One day, this rain will have a creamy center.

The ablative

(closed Thursdays)

The consumptive

It (COUGH) (HACK) (SPLOIT) raining.

The pleasingly-plumptive

Ten Quarter Pounders, please.

Just imagine if they were to sell off even half their unnecessary tenses. The global economy would swell to bursting. It would conjugate in the pleasingly-plumptive.****** And France would still have plenty of tenses left over for itself. Maybe, if we asked nicely, it would even give us some of the leftovers. Then we could put them up where the Walmart hyphens used to be, like this:

Still: where, oh where, have these hyphens gone? It’s a mystery, and the weight is on our shoulders to solve it. We must, therefore, apply our mystery-solving skills. Not to brag or anything, but at the tender age of 15, I personally watched several episodes of the BBC mystery series "Campion", starring actor Peter Davison. The series illustrates many invaluable mystery-solving principles for one to assimilate, which, unfortunately, I missed because I was too busy assimilating actor Peter Davison. So actually, what I mean to say is, it’s a mystery, and the weight is on YOUR shoulders to solve it.

Which is to say, whew! All this global-ill-eradicating makes me hungry. I could go for some library food. Feel free to join me, if you like. I’ll be curious to hear your take on these matters, inasmuch as my judgment is often questionable. For example, I see rainbows when I hold you in my arms.

* “We Spit on World Dehyphenization Affairs.”
** DISCLAIMER: The Snark Ascending does NOT endorse carnal acts with Walmart store associates. However, bonus points apply if you make it with the Associate of the Month.
*** This has its charm, but you may incur a fine.
**** Duh.
***** Source: Muscle Fitness.
****** Hee! “Conjugate.”

©2009, Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending


jdms said...

Hah! Wal-Mart may feel free to dehyphenate, but I shall not be moved. I've been hyphenated for all of my forty years on this earth, and that hyphen is staying right where it is. That for the Waltons and their cut-price emporia (Hah again! Another hyphen!).

Anonymous said...

You are clearly a girl with incredibly good taste, even at the tender age of 15!

The Old Wolf said...

C'est-very-funny-ça. I left a relevant cartoon, one of my favorites, over at the Livejournal mirror.

Nicola said...

2ndsoprano -- Aww, my blushes. I take it I've found a fellow enthusiast. :)

Old Wolf -- hmm, I feel as if I should know this, but what's the Livejournal mirror?