2004-09-21

The Comedy of Academia: Portuguese Irregular Verbs

The pinnacle of academic achievement for Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology has been the publication of his work Portuguese Irregular Verbs. So esoteric is it that no one will ever read it. However, von Igelfeld goes to prodigious lengths to bring his work to a wider audience. Unfortunately, the charming young dentist whom he unsuccessfully woos with a gift of his hefty volume uses it to stand on, and his dismay is absolute when he finds his work in the catalogue of the great Venetian library of philology labelled as 'sub aqua', submerged by recent flooding in the basement.

I was only a bit offended by the "so esoteric no one will ever read it" comment for a few seconds, having just written a paper on some irregular Portuguese verbs myself last semester! However, I do think irregular Romance verbs and Dravidian verb shifts make for excellent comedy, so the hurt I felt was only short lived.

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