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Re: SURVEY: Scariest Short Sentences in Your ConLangs

From:tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 31, 2005, 17:49
--- In, "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


Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>