Thursday, July 12, 2007

Plea to Oxford Linguistics Faculty

Oxford Linguistics Faculty:

I had a bone to pick with Dr. Burchfield and discovered that he had gone and died on me. So I kick the can downstream to you guys.

You must do something about this twit who heads the American branch of Oxford Dictionary, Jesse Sheidlower. You are responsible for him since he has had “Oxford” tattooed on his forehead. Everything referring to the word “Oxford” comes from y’all in the Mother Country, so Jesse is yours by default. May The Force be with you.

The Oxford North-American patriarchal-affirmative-action munchkins must have hired Le Jesse to comply with the rule that youth must be served. I figure he was about 21 when you hired him, barely out of swaddling clouts.

He gives Oxford dictionary, Oxford University Linguistics, Oxford detergent, Oxford mascara—everything connected with the name of Oxford—a bad name with his pubescent put-downs of his elders and betters on the American continent. He has in particular ticked off us feminists by omitting the period after “Ms.” that we demand for our honorific stripped of any male connection.

I intend to confer with Mother Sheidlower on the boy’s decorum deficiencies, but the Oxford linguistics faculty must provide a little muscle to remedy the Jesse problem on its end. Get your minds off folderol such as diphthongs, pronouns of totality, nexus substantives, etc. and pass around the hat to send Jesse back to Boy Scout camp. You may as well throw in a little extra for an acne spa workout daily. Do something of your own devising if those ideas don’t appeal to the socio-linguistic protocols that dominate your group-think. Jesse is ruining the Oxford brand name on this side of the Atlantic.

And don’t say you can’t do anything about Le Jesse. You got a coffee machine into the faculty lounge, didn’t you, despite the tea franchise people’s lock-down at Oxford? So apply the coffee-machine tactics to Jesse’s case. This is a priority assignment for the Special Relationship between the US and Britain. Now with Blair and Diana gone from the English tabloid scene, we in the colonies don’t have much incentive to sponsor all things Oxford.

Get on the stick and put your noggins to the task of Dealing with the Jesse Problem. He has ticked off us feminists big time for his snide linguistic sexism. The boy is insidious and uses his Oxford Dictionary position to throw his weight around at language conferences. We hear that he wears an “I Am a Macho Oxford Dictionary Man” tee-shirt at these events to add to his y-chromosome bona fides.

Clearly, my dear linguistic Jesse nannies, you have your work cut out for you.

lee drury de cesare


Blogger Matt said...

Have you worked out that "having" was indeed a participle when it used in that absolute?

I see there is nothing from you still to support your parallel construction theories. My hopes weren't high.

3:53 AM  
Blogger twinkobie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:05 AM  
Blogger twinkobie said...

Old Nattering Matt is just jealous because I am cuter than he. lee

9:07 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

How could you possibly know that? It would be akin to my speculating that you wrote "cuter than him" at 9.05 and removed it two minutes later.

Still nothing on participles or parallel construction. The plot doesn't thicken at all, does it? Just more name-calling. Way to go, Teacher!

5:33 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

>pronouns of totality, nexus substantives, etc. and pass around <

Review Strunk & White Rule 3 for using commas with parenthetic expressions. Again. How can you overlook this simple comma rule?

10:04 PM  

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