My Famous Quantum English Lecture
Someone once said that if you use bad grammar it’s kind of like having bad breath – you can say all sorts of intelligent things but no one is going to take you seriously. You can gargle and chew gum for your breath, but if you’re grammatically illiterate, until now, there was no easy solution.You can gargle or chew grammar – and I told care if you’re a grammar authority or not. Or as my grandma used to say: “I’ll put a knot on your noggin”, God rest her soul.
Luckily for you, in this modern age of instant communion, instant love and instant food, serendipity prevailed and I stumbled upon the most amazing and revolutionary discovery in the history of the English language, or at least since Garmond Retutsi discovered the now overused exclamation point in Palp, Sussex, England in 1488 – a scant 4 years before Columbus discovered Hispaniola and six years after King Phillip III beheaded his youngest, prettiest and final wife, Queen Heather I. This was right before the Two Doors line of royalty began – and well before four doors became popular with families.
And yes, they still have revolving doors in New York City.
One summer morning, while I had nothing better to do – which is often the case on summer mornings – I sat behumbled on my couch listening to the air conditioner humming and my ears ringing. With this cacophony flowing through my head, I began thinking about a show I had seen several nights before on The Science Channel. It was about quantum physics. In this show they taunted us thinking viewers with some interesting concepts drawn from quantum physics. For instance, let’s say you live in Middleburg, Pa. I’m not accusing you of being from Pennsylvania, I’m just saying. And let’s say your darling Aunt Prudence lives in Gluttux, West Virginia – again, I’m not accusing you of having relatives from West Virginia. I’m just saying this so I can explain the concept of quantum physics to you.
OK now we’re all happy, right? I’m not denigrating anyone from Pennsylvania or West Virginia. I’m just saying. Okay?
So one morning you get a phone call from Aunt Prudence who has just won the West Virginia Super DNA Lottery. She tells you she’s won the lottery and she’s now $14.8 million – after taxes – richer. Of course you’re very happy for your aunt and you’re now glad you stuck with her after your Uncle Cline deserted her when she was seriously infested with carbuncles and had nowhere to go and no one to turn to – and suddenly you, in your best wool suit, appear at her doorstep and offer her solace and tend to her carbuncles and made her some nice, hot Earl Grey tea with a nice slice of lemon. You never knew then that cleaning festering carbuncles would turn out to be the second most important thing you’ve ever done in your life – the first being the time you kept that little girl in The Olive Garden restaurant from drinking the fruit punch which was actually Long Island iced tea.
Sure, her parents claimed that Olive Garden put Long Island iced tea in the little girl’s sippee cup, – but that was only so they could sue the O.G. for some big bucks.
Actually you knew – and any sensible parent knows – the parents really wanted the kid to go to sleep that night so they could watch The Sensuous Channel, for which they were paying the cable company an extra $19.95 per month. They didn’t have a lot of extra money leftover each week – what with all the cigarettes, booze, and payments to Rent-A-Rama – and they sure weren’t getting their money’s worth out of that channel, that’s for sure. No time for sensuous when you’re trying to make ends meet. No pun intended.
It’s hard enough to have a little kid in this era of Viagra, Cialis, Zestra, social networking, smartphones with high-res cameras, sexting, and nearly naked people prancing around on the screen making obscene gyrations right smack dab in the middle of prime time – but then again, for $19.95, The Sensuous Channel offers much more lurid, tawdry, and enticing fare. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Nowadays, most parents are loath to take responsibility for teaching their kids about the birds and bees. Most people these days prefer to blame the government, or their neighbors, or their parents, or their mates,or their employers, or their dentist, or their doctor, or their chiropractor, or their poolboy, or their gardener, or their concubine, or their pets, for all of their problems; they prefer to abdicate responsibility and often choose to let somebody else fix up their problems and do the hard stuff for them – usually the same government or neighbors, or whoever they blamed in the first place.
This is perplexing, but beside the point. So let’s be honest about this delicate matter. Most parents don’t want to have explain the birds and the bees and those kinds of things to a fifteen year-old, let alone a five year-old. Most parents these days prefer to leave that kind of thing up to teachers, smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, “Jersey Shore” or the Internet. Not necessarily in that order.
The little girl was a good little girl, except when it came to bedtime. Often she didn’t want to go to bed at night, and she tended get out of her bed and wander around aimlessly, usually ending up in her parent’s bed. So what’s wrong with a little Long Island iced tea anyway? A gentle sedative and ooh la la, mom and dad get a chance to settle in for an hour or so of The Sensuous Channel – while the kid sleeps it off in her room.
But the best laid plans…
So anyway, you get the news about Aunt Prudence’s good fortune and you hop in your car and head to West Virginia hoping to reap your just reward for taking care of your aunt’s festering carbuncles after your Uncle Cline ran off with Chloë Vincent – the town slattern.
Sure, everyone in town knew Chloë, except for your uncle. How the townsfolk laughed at him when he bought Chloë a $75.00 engagement ring. They all knew he could have gotten away with a $3.00 red silicone bracelet and a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry wine. But that’s another story.
I’m sure by now you’re scratching your head and wondering what all this has to do with quantum physics. I’ll tell you what. The erudite physicists who ponder the vast universe and all the complexities thereof, have come up with many complicated theories to explain how all of the stuff in the universe magically appeared from nothing. Zip. Nada.
See, the Big Bang theory says that everything we can see, touch, hear and feel – all came from nothing. Including your dog, Otis.
That’s hard for most of us to contemplate since we have more urgent things to contemplate like jobs, hospital bills, smelly foot fungi, blood tests, sexual dysfunction, kids, electric bills, blisters and broken air conditioners and so forth. It’s hard to ponder the universe when you’ve got a wart on your arm as big as a baseball and you’re out of Dr. Scholl’s Wart Remover. So it’s really not that we don’t have the brains to contemplate the infinite, it’s just that we don’t have the time for such things because we’re always tied up with a bunch of trivialities that need to be contemplated first.
And speaking of time, time is something else that came from nothing. We can’t see it or feel it, yet it rules our lives, except for the physicists and Aunt Prudence who now has nothing to do with her time but decide how to spend her money.
You hope she spends some of it on you. That’s why you’re in your old Toyota Corolla heading to your aunt’s house in West Virginia now. So you pull out of out of your driveway and watch as your house disappears in your rear-view mirror. Quantum physics states that your house no longer exists when you can no longer see it. So when your house disappears behind you in your rear-view mirror, your house is gone until you – if ever – return. The same goes for Middleburg, Pa. Once you’ve left your little town and head out on the open highway – on your way to your aunts house and hopefully the end of your money woes, your town no longer exists. It’s gone. And when you finally leave the state of Pennsylvania, it no longer exists either.
All that exists is what you can see, hear, or feel – what you can observe with your senses at that moment. And that is what quantum physics is all about.
Right now, you’re probably thinking I’m another Einstein, because I can take such a complex thing like quantum physics and distill it down to its essence – and make it easy enough so that even the most droll can understand it. I thank you for the compliment, but it’s not necessary. Quantum physics isn’t so hard to understand, and fortunately for you, neither is quantum grammar.
My discovery will set the world of English on its asterisks. No longer will our children have to suffer through boring lectures on parts of speech like verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, prepositions and so on. When you come to think about it – and I have come to think about it at great length – English, or any language for that matter, exists only to allow people to communicate with one another. If you feel compelled to communicate, do so, and don’t worry about interrogative pronouns, nominalizations, passive verbs and gerunds too much. It’s more than likely that the person you’re talking to has no idea what the heck those are – and almost certain they don’t care.
If English and other languages exist so we can communicate with one another -and if there is some other reason language exists step right up and tell me what that reason is – then why do we need all these rules and ridiculous dissection of parts of speech and complete sentences and verb agreements and so forth? Exactly! See you’re thinking! We don’t need no stinkin’ grammar rules because the only reason language exists is so that we can communicate.
Consider these examples:
I needs to borrows a cuppa sugar.
I need to borrow a cup of sugar.
My car have runned out of gas and I has no money.
My car has run out of gas and I have no money.
We was driving down the road and I hit a deer the cops came and gives me a breathalyzer and I failed and they take me to jail and gives me sixty days and they gives a package of venison to my wife and kids.
We were driving down the road when I hit a deer. The cops came, gave me a breathalyzer test, which I failed. They arrested me and took me to jail where I’m now serving sixty days. They had the deer cleaned and gave the venison to my wife and kids.
There was this guy who was religious and God tells him to build this big boat and go out and collect too of each animals and bring them back to the big boat and wait til it rains a really lot and than the boat was going to float away on the water and be took to the top of a really big mountain wear it would be safe from the flood and all the animals could get out and go to the bathroom and roam around and make new animals so the world will have new good animals and people and not the nasty old smelly ones it used to have. We needs another flood I thought.
There once was a religious man. God told him to build a huge boat, called an ark. He told the man to go out and collect two of each animal and bring them back to the ark and wait until it rained. When it rained, God told him, the boat would float and would come to rest on top of a very high mountain, where the boat and its precious cargo would be safe from the flood. When the boat came to rest, God told the man to release all the animals so they could go forth and multiply. Thus God rid the world of the sinners and the world started anew. I think now would be a great time for God to send us another flood. We need to start over.
I is hungry. I hasn’t eat in three days.
I am hungry. I haven’t eaten in three days.
Quantum English states that as long as people can understand what you’re saying and you’re communicating an idea or a thought or a story successfully, then nothing else matters. After you say or write something and you get your idea across then you’ve successfully communicated and your command of the language is good enough.
You doesn’t need no grammar. You just needs to communicate. That’s quantum English.
I is done teaching you fore today. Tomorrow we will discuss quantum cooking. Yous is in for a treat yous can eat.