March 5th, 2004

hobbes words

with Cate Blanchett as Chomsky

Someone on E2 trotted out that ridiculous slur of no-one calling for linguists in an aeroplane. Of course we lead valuable and exciting lives. Why, just at the moment I'm negotiating with some top networks for rights to the pilots of a few surefire winners I've been working on.

There's Phonetics Lab, the bittersweet tale of the trials and tribulations of idealistic young phonologist Kate Harmon as she strives with Chief Phonetician Jock Galloway. He scorns her optimality rankings as namby-pamby bureaucracy, and jabs his tobacco-stained fingers at his spectrograms. 'Formants! Transitions! These I can believe in,' he says.

Drama is one thing, but we want them to be educational too. In Semantic Street the host, Flightless Bird, talks to a group of neighbourhood children. 'What kind of thing is a BIRD?' he asks them.
'It's an ANIMAL,' says one.
'No it's not,' lisps another.
'It's something that can FLY,' a third offers.
'Do aaall BIRDs FLY?' asks Flightless Bird.
'Bats FLY too,' another youngster pipes up amid the shaking of heads.

The traditional soap opera market is catered for with Implicit Communication, the everyday story of real life conversations. John Jones and Mary Smith are an ordinary young couple. Into their life one day comes Bill, who tells John and Mary he's having a wild party that night. Mary thinks Bill intends to ask them to it, but John assumes a different meaning of wild. At the party Bill asks Mary if she likes going to the cinema. John wonders if Bill meant to ask Mary to come to the cinema with him, and tells her, 'It's getting late.' Mary tells John he left his coat in the hall. John walks away without saying a word, so Mary assumed he meant her to be able to continue talking with Bill. 'Someone's a bit miffed,' she comments.

Proto She Reconstructed is perhaps the first series to be set in the unglamorous back rooms where dead languages are painstakingly examined.

But the one that has me really excited is the action-packed adventures of the team from Command Headquarters for Overt Movement of Syntax. The working title for this series is Move Alpha.Collapse )
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