Linguistic Satire & Biblical Studies

The Speculative Grammarian is probably my favorite linguistic journal in existence. In their most recent issue, they have a delightful article that can and should be applied to not only linguistics, but also to Biblical scholars and theologians or [Insert Discipline HERE] as well.

‘The Symptoms and Warning Signs of Framework Psychosis’
By Dr. Pill, M.D.

“Framework Psychosis, a new and dangerous affliction sweeping through academia like wildfire, is the unhealthy (and unfounded) belief that one’s framework, whatever it may be, is the one true framework. As a public service, I have written up a set of guidelines that will allow concerned individuals to identify those suffering from Framework Psychosis. If you are an academic, I encourage you to post this list in your lounges, labs, lecture halls, and latrines. With your help, we may yet be able to eradicate FP in our lifetime.”

Since I don’t have a lab or a lounge, I’m posting the list on my blog (the various article links are also from SpecGram):

  • There is no such thing as a framework free of complications. If you believe you subscribe to one, you may be a Framework Psychotic. (Cf. Greenberg, Merritt and Joseph Ruhlen. (2006). “The Language of Prehistory”.)
  • A Framework Psychotic believes that their framework can (or will eventually be able to) explain everything, and is puzzled or disturbed by those who question that fact. (Cf. Bernini, Gianlorenzo. (1990). “Moving Greek Letters”.)
  • Framework Psychotics do not suffer dissent. Those who disagree with their framework are seen either as foolish, or as enemies—or both. (Cf. Neuerblumenfeld, Gotthilf. (1998). “Multiple Choice: The Ultimate Algorithm”.)
  • In the end, a Framework Psychotic will spend more time ridiculing or attempting to disprove the theories of others than doing any original research—or anything else, for that matter. (Cf. Papalopogous, Andreas. (1990). “The Priority of Written Language”.)
  • A Framework Psychotic will gradually begin to apply their framework to everything, including those things that lie outside of the framework’s intended area of applicability. (Cf. Pulju, Tim. (1988). “A Stratificational Approach to Making Macaroni and Cheese”.)
  • When writing about or discussing their field, Framework Psychotics, at first, find it simpler to discuss things in terms of their framework, as opposed to other frameworks or in general terms. After a while, Framework Psychotics find it difficult to write about or discuss their field in terms of anything other than their framework. In the final stage, Framework Psychotics find it impossible to write about or discuss their field in terms of anything other than their framework, and most likely will not be able to understand what the problem is if it’s pointed out to them. (Cf. Goff, Ed. (1991). “On the indexico-relational inductivity hypothesis of proto-flectional meta-syntagm residuals in the discourse-evaluative elicitation of interactionally non-null quasi-specifiability criteria for quantificational irreducibility quotients in satisficing algorithms for preliminary displacement reduction of grammatological abductive derivational extrapolation heuristics factors considerations: A re-evaluation.”.)
  • Regarding jargon, a Framework Psychotic will begin to weave the language of their framework into their natural speech about every area of life, not just their own field of study. (Cf. the 2004 announcement, “Further Evidence for Language as a Virus from Space: A Symposium in Two Movements”.)
  • Every framework will encounter counterexamples or challenges. In the beginning, the Framework Psychotic will listen to objections, and attempt to explain them in terms of their framework, believing those who’ve raised objections have merely misunderstood the intricacies of the framework. At a later stage, the Framework Psychotic will become greatly disturbed by challenges, and will take them (and respond to them) as personal attacks. In the final stage of Framework Psychosis, the afflicted will cease to recognize counterexamples and challenges, valid or otherwise. (Cf. Tirizdi. (2006). “On the Necessity of a Tri-Branching Corpse”.)
  • Before long, the friends of a Framework Psychotic become enemies. No one understands a given framework the way a Framework Psychotic does—not even another Framework Psychotic who subscribes to the same framework. Two Framework Psychotics will possess different understandings of their framework, and any difference between the two understandings, no matter how minute, will be magnified in the eyes of a Framework Psychotic. Instead of a compatriot with a different understanding of a detail, the Framework Psychotic sees their former friend as an enemy posing as a friend, or a traitor—a heretic. They, then, like true enemies, will be shunned, and despised. (Cf. Snodgrass, Quentin P. (2007). “The Lexicalist Agenda: Exposing the Myths”.)
  • A Framework Psychotic has been lost irrevocably when they can no longer see or experience anything save their framework. (Cf. Pill, D. (2008). “The Symptoms and Warning Signs of Framework Psychosis”.)

At this stage, human beings cease to be human, and instead become elements of a grand framework that explains everything, including existence itself. For the rest of us, it’s best to simply avoid the afflicted. They may seem lifelike, and may still eat and breathe, but, rest assured, they are no longer humans: they are nothing more than theoretical constructs living out a theoretical existence.


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