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Research Proposal

October 09, 2005

Linguistic Americans Registration Keynote
101 Red Star Way
Newton Falls, Ohio 44444
Attn: Howard J. Smingelheimer

Dear Mr. Smingelheimer,

Last night I witnessed a most unusual ritual involving a tribe of nine female Homo sapiens ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-forties. The ritual centered around one of the younger women: she stood 5 foot 7 inches tall and wore casual clothing similar in style to the members of her tribe and the other women in the building with two notable exceptions: she was wearing a tiara and a shirt covered in plastic-wrapped candy lifesavers.

The logo on her shirt featured two red circles with smaller circles repeated within, a symbol seen most lately in the advertising copy of Target, and words written in a bold-black typeface with graphemes and morphemes common to the English language reading “Buck A Suck.”

Note the irregular form of the sentential phrase: in place of the expected Subject – Verb – Object sentence formation, this phrasal unit has a distinct lack of a subject! Although it may be possible that the female creature wearing the shirt suffered from a type of aphasia or deep need to test the bridges of communication with other human beings, the evidence collected instead points to a colloquialism, a mismatched hunk of language.

Webster’s Concise Dictionary defines the word buck as having two verbal functions:

1) Leap to unseat a rider.
2) Resist

and one use as a verb:

3) Male of the deer, rabbit, goat, etc.

The word suck similiarly has a dual-action definition:

The word is used as a verb:

1) draw in by using lips and tongue
2) absorb

or as a noun:

3) act of sucking.

The grapheme “A” seen in this context is most typically in the English language a function word serving a specific grammatical function. In this instance, “A” seems to be used as a conjunction, a most unusual usage popularized most recently in the great musical selection, “My Baby Ain’t Got No” popularized in the late 1990s by the youthful segment of the American population boom.

When one attempts to glean the meaning of this random segment of language, using the words alone, one decides the meaning must be something like:

1) To leap while drawing in lifesavers using the lips and tongue


2) Bambi in headlights meets the lollipop man

Neither definition seemed quite satisfactory so I continued to observe the tribe quietly, so as not to startle its members. As the members took place in what appeared to be a communion ritual, each member clinked together small glass cyclinders before raising these objects to their mouths collectively.

Outer members of the tribe seemed to be appealing to male members of outside tribes to enter their tribal circle and participate in a ritual of bringing one’s head to the shirt of the tiara’d woman and removing, with one’s teeth, the plastic-wrapped sugary sweet. Some men would be easily swayed with but a smile and handed over one after one, rectangular green pieces of fiber that seemed to be of a symbolic value. Other men lingered longer on the outskirts.

As the evening wore on, the tribal elders brought out one seemingly phallic object after another with which the tribal members seemed to be mocking the woman in the middle. The tiara’d woman smiled frequently and partook greatly in the raising of the cylindrical glass. The liquid in the glass seemed to have something to do with a participant’s ability to walk because shortly the women in the middle needed to be escorted from the middle of the bar to a bench on its outskirts until finally the woman tipped her head forward and let forth a loud series of incomprehensible morpheme chunks.

At this the ritual seemed to reach its frenzied conclusion as three of the tribal elders lifted the woman from her seat of honor and walked her out the door. Data on the meanings of this strange ritual are incomplete and require further research and observation. I am quite sure that the members of Linguistic Americans Registration Keynote would be interested in learning more about this fascinating ritual never before witnessed in the wild. I eagerly await your first check.


M.A. Richardson,
Research mastermind

Moira at 07:17 PM :: Comments (1) :: « :: »

Miss M,

This totally made my entire day.

Graphemes, morphemes, and Buck-A-Suck....

The things people will do for small green pieces of fiber that seem to be of symbolic value :0)

Posted by: KatieAikins at October 15, 2005 11:26 AM
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