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Monday, 8 September 2008


I find to my dismay that I made a serious mistake in my formative years. Because my Dad and Mum spoke it, because everyone I knew spoke it, and because my teachers taught it, I assumed that the language I should learn was English. So I concentrated on learning it, and got good marks from early on. I even received the headmaster's stamp on my hand in Primer 4 for writing, which proves that by then I could at least hold a pencil.

But I was wrong. I should never have bothered with English. I should have learnt the language favoured by Auckland City Council: Obfuscation. It sounds something like English, superficially. It looks something like English, superficially. But it is impossible for ordinary schmucks like me to understand it, because it is not really a language at all. It is actually like the baseball bat in the hands of the thug who beats you about the head in order to persuade you to hand over your valuables. Like the blows rained on your scone by that bat it exists to persuade you not to argue with his opinion of his magnificent superiority. It is grievous bodily harm of the verbal kind.

But, sadly, because I no longer have the sponge-like brain of an infant, I cannot learn a new language. So I am condemned to being perpetually mystified by the labyrinthine deliberations of The Machine. Day in day out I must endure being thrombobulated, discrenellated and widgemumpfrillated by Obfuscation.

But I am an optimist. I shall persevere with English, in the faint hope that The Infernal Machine might learn to speak it some day before I pass on to glory, or before the Last Trump sounds, whichever comes first.