Boy! Talk about your moral dilemmas. I am shocked, appalled and very confused. As a writer I understand I can be slightly controversial, and as a comedian I understand I have to be careful, in this age of political correctness, not to offend anybody, but I never realized I was diverting from the path of righteousness simply by using certain parts of speech. However, we live and learn. This week the Vatican has announced that we should refrain from using adjectives to describe the faithful. It’s true, look it up if you don’t believe me. Nouns and verbs are still okay, and there is no word as yet on adverbs. I know you’re asking yourself, “Hey! What about conjunctions or prepositions? Hey folks, c’mon take it slow. I mean, those guys over there are pretty old.
The thing is, I was taught that adjectives were all the words you used to describe things. That’s the definition of them. Consequently, there aren’t any other words to describe the faithful. Besides I don’t know who the faithful are. My dog’s pretty faithful, and a little lazy. Does this mean I can no longer say “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog?” And what about the fox? Is he dependable as well? I guess the bigger question has to be: Will typing tests forever be shortened to, “The fox jumps over the dog.” Then again, I have no idea why this encyclical came down from on high in the first place. Is it perhaps, only for efficiency? Maybe the proper religious sentence should be; Fox jumps dog. The implications are staggering. Also, how thorough could such a typing like that test be? I mean, so much for using all twenty-six letters during the test. Then again, maybe some of those letters are banned as well. It boggles the mind, but it does shorten the test quite a bit.
And think about the music industry. Those folks live for descriptions. If the girl described in a song happens to be one of the faithful, she can no longer be beautiful, have blue eyes, ruby red lips, or a big honking zit on her oversized forehead. Yea, my taste in music is kind of out in left field. But be that as it may, every love song out there, be they for a woman, man or zombie, will have to be rewritten. And frankly, zombie love songs really lose a lot without the words, Brain-Eating.
Then there’s the whole industry of marketing. What will a marketing exec or advertiser do without adjectives? Can you imagine trying to sell laundry detergent without the slogan; New and Improved. They couldn’t even say, “Bob’s laundry stuff is good,” because good is an adjective. Imagine the ad campaign. Billboards all over the city saying only, “Buy Bob’s Laundry Stuff,” and nothing else. Then again, in this case, Bob’s and laundry describe the stuff. Therefore, the signs would actually say, “Buy Stuff.” I don’t know if it’ll help Bob or not, but it would be consumerism at its best.
Sorry Vatican folks. We in America need adjectives, so I really hope using them isn’t too big of a sin. I would hate to be standing at those pearly gates and have St. Peter tell me, “My son, you used the word ‘big’ to describe elephants two-hundred-forty-seven times. Have you any idea just how faithful elephants are?”
I’d come back with, “But I also described my cat as fluffy.”
“Oh, that’s okay, really, how faithful are cats anyway?” After a pause he’d probably say something like, “I mean they’re cats.”
All this being said, the ramifications go far deeper. If I can’t say, “The slow guy is here.” Can I say, the guy got here slowly? The simple L-Y ending turns the adjective into an adverb, and there’s no decision on adverbs. Could this be the loop-hole which starts the next world war? Then there’s verbs. Shining is a verb but one can also say, “The shining star.” Assuming that stars are relatively loyal, this could be against the law. This kinda stuff overwhelms my imagination.
Of course, I could choose to go rogue and ignore the new law. My palms are sweaty just thinking about it. I’ll bet that hardened criminals like John Dillinger probably used adjectives, and they shot him down in the middle of the street in front of a theatre. This sort of thing can really put a damper on all kinds of after movie discussions. Apparently, I’ll have to be super careful.
I’ll change my name to Mr. Why?, and go underground. I’ll stalk libraries and never use the same Wi-Fi site twice. My children will go to school with bags over their heads so they can’t be identified. Then again, if they’re the only ones in the whole high-school with bags on their heads, they’ll probably be pretty easy to spot. I may have to rethink that one.
And how could such a law be enforced? Bonnie and Clyde ran rampant for just over two years before they were caught. I wonder if they ever described anything? Either way they got caught because somebody snitched on them. I’ll have to limit my friends and go totally solo. I may even end up being labeled, in the media, as, “The Lone Describer” The FBI will have my picture in every post office from coast to coast. But they’ll never catch me. I’ll be a stain on some young federal agents record who’ll never get promoted because of my descriptive prose. Perhaps they’ll even have to leave the force in disgrace and take up beekeeping in the Philippines. All of you law enforcement professionals, be very afraid. Ha Ha Ha.
Hold on a second. What if there won’t be any police, or federal agents pursuing me for these heinous crimes? Maybe, because of where the edict came from, this wouldn’t be an offense of this world, but it is in the next. What if the supreme being decides to wait until the afterlife to punish me. I’ve heard He, or She has some pretty severe punishments that can last one hell of a long time. Perhaps I should rethink this life of crime.
Um, You, up there in heaven, in case you’re looking at all this, I apologize for using the word Supreme in the last paragraph. I just realized it’s a descriptive word. Sorry!