With Recession and Unemployment Raging, Obama Plans To Eliminate Verbs From Speech
D.C. (AP) As America faces increasing job losses and rising financial
insecurity, President-elect Barack Obama has proposed the elimination
of verbs in American speech as a belt-tightening measure.
"In an age of big American financial crisis, paper expensive. Verbs -- unnecessary," Obama said. "Predicates needless."
proposed measure would eliminate predicates and all words denoting
actions or states of being until the American economy was well on its
way to recovery.
"Americans strong," said Obama. "Even without
verbs. In the future, less verbal waste. And so more buildings, more
food, more money. Hooray!"
House Democrats were fuming about the measure, which they said was proposed without their knowledge.
"No verbs? How no verbs?" asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Communication limited now. Too difficult, speech."
said he expects the cessation of verbs, a major component in syntax,
will save the government millions of dollars in paper and also help
Americans increase productivity by spending fewer minutes per person on
"A travesty, this," said former Nixon
administration speechwriter and self-described "language maven" William
Safire. "The end of knowledge. The end of reason. Devastating. Utterly
Americans said that they would have trouble
adapting to the challenges of a verbless society, and that Obama's
proposed changes would likely have them soon stooping over and
muttering in some kind of strange simian Neanderthal-speak.
"No verbs too hard," said law professor Felix Diaz. "Language and communication difficult."
"No verbs? Not too hard," said Lila Montgomery, a customer greeter at Wal-Mart. "Toothpaste? Aisle 3. Videotapes? Aisle 10."
"Speech rugged, even when no verbs," said linguist Noam Chomsky. "Grammar universal, innate."
are words that vary according to many factors, including tense, voice,
mood and aspect. Obama was unsure whether the moratorium on speech
would extend to gerunds, infinitives and supines, verbs which can
sometimes act like nouns.
"Maybe yes, maybe no! A conundrum!" Then he shrugged.
"America no money," continued Obama. "Thus, America no verbs. Not until America money again."
From Eric Rasmussen's blog: