Saturday, June 28, 2008
Important new finding on linguistic primitives -- courtesy of The Onion
PASADENA, CA—A team of Caltech scientists announced Monday that they have discovered a type of conversational detail smaller than minutiae, the class of particulars long thought to be the smallest possible building blocks of mundanity. "These tiny sub-minutiae, or 'boredons,' are so insignificant that they contain almost no information, useless or otherwise," said head researcher Dr. Nathan Yang, adding that the conversationally inconsequential details naturally occur in elevators and other enclosed spaces containing high concentrations of vaguely familiar acquaintances. "At least six must be combined to make up a detail that even remotely approaches the declarative weight of a triviality, and more than 200 are required to compose a viable trifle." Yang said that the basic unit of tedium remained undiscovered for so long because boredons are instantly forgotten as soon as they are heard.