Grammatical conjugation with verbs

A little experiment using another style of writing. My inspiration is this short story by Smullyan.1 It is very good. Some background knowledge of epistemology is advised.

First is the dialogue. Then there is some additional promotion I wrote together with a friend when we were waiting for a train to arrive.


Mr. Language change

Grammatical conjugation with verbs, I hate it.2 It’s pointless. We ought to stop doing it. There is nothing gained by having to use difference versions of verbs just because we’re talking about different kinds of persons.

Mr. Doubt

But might there not be something gained from it? Perhaps less ambiguity?

Mr. Language change

Languages where there is no grammatical conjugation with verbs do not suffer from any additional ambiguity. I have learned danish and I can verify that there is no additional confusion introduced because the danish language lacks grammatical conjugation with verbs. The danish word for ‘to be’ is ‘er’. Always! It doesn’t matter if one is talking about plural or singular, first or third person.

Mr. Doubt

Perhaps you are right. But what does it harm that there is grammatical conjugation with verbs?

Mr. Language change

It’s harmful because people have to learn additional rules of grammar before they are able to flawlessly communicate with a language. It’s a virtue for a language to be easy to learn. This is the reason why we ought to remove grammatical conjugation with verbs; It makes the language harder to learn but does not cause anything good to compensate for it. If it helped in some way it would maybe be a good idea to keep it around. Right now it’s just an archaic artifact of english, a relic from the past with no purpose.

Mr. Doubt

Right. But which version of the verbs should we then settle on? If the verb in question is ‘to be’, for instance, which should we always use? Am, is or are?

Mr. Language change

That’s something I haven’t given much thought. However I can quickly imagine a good way to find out. We need some criteria. What sounds good is one. What is easy to distinguish from other words is another. Obviously it’s a good idea not to make it harder to understand the language.

Mr. Doubt

Sounds good to whom? I agree with the other criteria.

Mr. Language change

Hmm. Users of the language. I suppose one could make some representational group of people and ask them what version they think sounds the best. Together with the other criteria I think that’s a fairly good way to discover which version is the best to use.

Additional promotion

To be or not to be, That is the question. We’re a group who believe that grammatical conjugation with verbs is pointless. We also believe that to be should always be be, not ‘is’ or ‘are’. The root is ‘to be’ after all, not ‘to is’ or ‘to are’. Also, ‘be’ is used to write about future states. E.g.: It will be cold this afternoon.

Win consequence: Pirate speak will be easier to do.

To assimilate this new grammatical feature into language, we’ve decided to write a poem to demonstrate it’s usability.

The bumble bees be busy breaking billard balls.

The bountiful booty be beautifully bouncing booms.

Bambi’s balloon be big bang, boom!

Bring best banned ballistic bombs boldly.

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