Re: SURVEY: Scariest Short Sentences in Your ConLangs
|Date:||Wednesday, August 31, 2005, 17:49|
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ph.D." <phil@P...> wrote:
> Tom Chappell wrote:
> > Reputedly the scariest five-word sentence in North
> > American English is
> > "Daddy, I want a pony."
> That doesn't seem very scary. The response is "No."
> Much scarier is "The IRS is auditing you."
> --Ph. D.
Thanks, Remi and Phil.D.
I agree that your sample sentences are pretty scary!
Remi's is a lot like "being sent to Coventry".
(BTW the Xerox Language Guesser said Remi's sentence was Albanian.)
Phil, consult Luke 11 verses 11-12 for comparison. (I'd rather
recommend some old "Mama" cartoon-strips, but I don't know how to
find them on the web.) I don't know if you have a child; but, if you
are parent, (or, for some people, an uncle or an aunt or a
godparent), you find that children can change your mind in ways you
hadn't expected. One thing I experienced myself was that, when my
goddaughter learned "the magic words" ("Please" and "Thank you" for
people whose child-rearing subculture doesn't call them that), they
really do work like magic.
I suppose the words "Daddy, I want a pony" are only scary to persons
who actually might be on-the-fence about whether or not to accede to
this request. If you maybe-can-afford it and maybe-can't; if your
child might-be-safe and might-not-be; if she (let's face it, this is
the kind of request that comes from daughters, not sons, and to
fathers, not mothers) might-be-responsible, and might-not-be; and if
she has not over-used "the magic words", and uses them with sincerity
this time -- I imagine it could be scary. (Not to me --- it would be
as scary as "Daddy, I want to fly to Mars.")
Anyway, that's what I've heard.
Of course, "the IRS is auditing you", to me, sounds like
"the Red Cross wants you to donate blood" sounds to a turnip.
Tom H.C. in MI