*The Pointless Writer*

has a life you're completely uninterested in. But it's okay because I can write. No abbreviations. No shoddy grammar (though I'm not immune to mistakes). Just quality writing on sometimes completely pointless topics.

Inspiration/ Hilarity

`cirque. (by Nick)
The Joel Stein
Hyperbole and a Half (by Allie Brosh)

Pointless Yakking

No chatbox.

UnPoints of Note

1. I write when fancy takes. Sometimes, fancy takes many months of leave.
2. Never give up on this blog. I will eventually come back. When fancy has returned from its unfaithful travels.
3. All posts labelled Randomosity were written while I was on my junior college's blog team.
4. Everything is written as a challenge to myself. And it's all in good fun. Cheerio!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

For the uninformed non-ELLers, there is a difference between language variation and language change. Simply put, change is more widespread than variation (i.e. more users).

Ohmygawd, she’s at it again!

Muahaha… Yes, I’m promoting the best dang subject to ever grace this earth. Again.

Okay, no, not really. Not entirely. I’ve actually never quite promoted ELL, if you think about it. All I’ve done is been inspired by it and told you to go take the subject. None of that this is why you should take it stuff. Evidently, I’m not cut out to be a salesperson. Oh well. So anyway, ELL’s been pretty boring lately (dodges bullets from the lecturer), mostly cos it’s all revision. I mean, come on, I know all that CONTACT, POWER and SEMANTIC stuff by heart now. I barely need to revise. Which, again, is all we’re doing in class now. Of course, if I’m going to be really nitty gritty about the details, it’s Paper 1 I’m 100% unflummoxed by. (Go, go, morphology! It births non-existent words all the time.) Paper 2… is a different matter. But whatever. Where was I?

Ah yes. Boring lectures. Of course, they aren’t quite so boring when the lecturer cracks hilarious jokes—and by jokes, I don’t mean A man walked into a bar…—or is just plain funny. (I know. It’s amazing. The ELL lecturer can actually make English funny. I still don’t know how she does it. Someone write a book!) And then, during the lectures, she sometimes says important ELL stuff she’s never mentioned before, like how language variation and change happen to be like the chicken and the egg. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go to a chicken farm.

Here’s the summary (for the uninformed non-ELLers): there are two types of language variation, the first of which can be completely original. For instance, if I make up a word, like mumpfalump, my choice of language is varying from others’. If this variation becomes widespread, eg. all Singaporeans start using the word mumpfalump, language change has occurred. So you can now see that language variation leads to change. Like chickens lay eggs. But what about when eggs lay chickens? (Whoops! I mean hatch.) That is, what about when language change leads to variation instead? Sounded like mumbo-jumbo to me, but when the lecturer explained it, it kinda made sense. Say we Singaporeans used to speak French but now speak English. That was language change right there. From French to English. But if someone starts using a word based on English, like ‘oldie’ from the word ‘old’ to mean ‘elderly’, when no one else is using it, that’s variation. Which could, in turn, lead to language change, i.e. EVERYONE starts using the word ‘oldie’.

Still don’t get it? You’d better start scheduling in some chicken farm visits.

Now, this revelation (variation A leads to change, which leads to variation B, which leads to change) has inspired me to make my own variation. The original kind (see above: variation A). I’m going to call my personal variety of English Funky Random English (FRE), or Fringlish, for funk. Statistics show that Fringlish has, of this very moment, one user—me. It also seems to be a telepathic sort of language, since its sole user has not voiced it so far. In the spirit of ELLness, the cause of Fringlish is new communications technology (this blog) as well as a desire to entertain; none of the usual functionality stuff. Although, it’s cause is usual in the sense that FRE has been invented in order to deviate. That said, I shall now introduce the top 10 Fringlish words of the century: (note that the apostrophes precede accented syllables)

1. Mumpfalump
Pronounced: ‘mump-fuh-lump

For some strange reason, this word makes me think of elephants. No, I take that back. It actually makes me think of Horton in Horton Hears a Who and that Dr. Seuss animal that harrumphs. Because of its elephantine affiliations, the word mumpfalump quite literally means ‘long-nosed’. Due to Pinocchio’s influence, it is used in place of liar.

Sample sentence: That mumpfalump told me he was broke before buying a Mercedes!

Tidbit: the verb form of mumpfalump is falump.

Sample sentence: Honesty is the best policy, so stop falumping.

2. Onkaponkarel
Pronounced: ‘ong-kuh-‘pong-kuh-ral (‘ral’ in ‘coral’)

This word means fickle-minded person. It came into being when a pendulum knocked into my head and I yelled it out in pain. Don’t ask me what I was doing with my head in my grandfather’s clock. So anyway, since fickle-minded people can’t make up their minds which way to go, like pendulums, they’re called onkaponkarels in Fringlish.

Sample sentence: The onkaponkarel at the food stall kept me waiting for FIFTEEN minutes.

Do note that the sexism that plagues this world has resulted in this gender unmarked term (you can borrow my ELL notes if you don’t know what that means) being used only for males. Fickle-minded females are called donkaponkarels, since Italian for ‘woman’ is donna. The more obnoxious males might shorten this to donkey.

3. Metarolabus
Pronounced: ‘meta-‘ro-luh-buhs (‘ro’ in ‘roar’)

Although this word looks like ‘metal roll a bus’, it does not refer to those alternatives to global warming cars. It actually refers to women… with silicon implants.

Sample sentence: The metarolabi at the beach attracted a lot of attention.

4. Melliflodious
Pronounced: melly-‘flo-dee-uhs

This word has more positive connotations than the one above. It means ‘beautiful in spirit, soul, mind and body’. Seeing as the word has so many definitions in one, it’s actually quite hard to find a melliflodious woman. Yes, it refers only to women beautiful in ALL the above aspects. If you find a man who possesses the same characteristics, you may describe him as smelliflodious.

Sample sentence: The melliflodious woman and her smelliflodious husband looked like models off the cover of Vogue and were known to be highly intelligent, extremely compassionate and wicked religious.*

*Note that ‘wicked’ translates into very in some varieties of English.

5. Ollimorphorous
Pronounced: olli-‘mor-fuh-ruhs

This one is one of my personal favourites. It’s used to describe vampire fan girls. And by fan girl, I mean the kinda girl who squeals at Robert Pattinson’s painted abs in Twilight and then eats raw steaks just to try and snag herself a sickly looking bloodsucker.

Sample sentence: Just the other day, I saw my ollimorphorous neighbor leave the house with blood smeared on her neck. I think she was trying to tempt my pet vampire into turning her.

6. Goobstop
Pronounced: ‘goob-stop

As much as this word sounds like a turkey, it has nothing to do with the fowl of Thanksgiving. If Fringlish takes off, this will probably become as overused as the adjective nice. Infer its meaning from the following sentences:

I really enjoyed that goobstop roller coaster ride!

That girl is so goobstop! She can sing, dance, AND fart with her hands!

That exam was soo not goobstop. I’m going to fail!

If you still haven’t figured it out contextually, the word translates into a unique mix of fun and cool. Note that the noun that this adjective is fixed to MUST possess a blend of these attributes.

7. Tarantula
If you don’t know how to pronounce this, SHAME ON YOU.

Technically, this word isn’t original. I suppose we could say this is variation type B: language variation based on an existing variety. But it’s still funky enough to make this list. The word does NOT refer to scary, poisonous Biology teachers. Nor lecturers with eight arms. It’s actually used for people who look disheveled, particularly people who have bad hair lives.

Sample sentence: She looks more and more like a tarantula each time I see her. Has she looked in the mirror lately?

8. Crantankerous
It sounds like cantankerous with an extra ‘r’.

This word might actually be on the market already. I’m not sure. But anyway, if you are a future linguist, you should have guessed by now that the word is a blend of cranky and cantankerous.

Make up your own sentence.

9. Rice cooker on counter

So this technically isn’t a word, which is why it’s near the bottom of this list. But, come on, you have to admit: you can’t get funkier than rice. Sushi? Nasi lemak? The staple food of the world’s two rising economies? So anyway, this one was actually coined by my funky mother. Here’s what happened: my mum was cooking funky white starch for dinner, and when she moved the rice cooker, it let out this chilling screech. My first thought was: ohmygawd, we have a possessed rice pot! Then my mum yelled, “That sounded like fingernails on blackboard!” So this Fringlish phrase came into being, meaning fingernails on blackboard.

Next time your Math teacher sings you a Math formula ditty, you can shout out, “You sound like rice cooker on counter!” and not get into any trouble at all. Cos I’m sure your Math teacher won’t be funky enough to know Fringlish.

10. Diwikidiluge
Pronounced: di-’wiki-di-’looge, with a hard ‘g’ like in ‘giraffe’ at the end

Now, if this were in one of the Romance languages (i.e. European languages), I might translate it into ‘the Wikipedia… the fun go-kart-like thing at Sentosa’. However, it’s not. In actual fact, this word is Fringlish for blue lake. Don’t ask me why.

Do you really need a sample sentence for this one?

Now that you’ve come to the end of my long post, I… won’t give you a prize. No, seriously, I won’t. Go spend your own money. However, I do thank you for persevering through these 1000+ words. I seem to be on a roll! Must be all that Prelims stress getting to me head. Anyway…

Be cool, be Fringly. ;)



Chanson des Étoiles at 10:08 PM