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Straight talk

“This tretis, divided in fyve partes, wole I shewe thee under ful lighte rewles and naked wordes in English; for Latin ne canstow yit but smal, my lyte sone.”
    ~ Geoffrey Chaucer, A Treatise on the Astrolabe, in an introduction addressed to his son Lewis

Our experts have struck a grim bargain,
However they might preen and scoff,
They speak in gratuitous jargon
To tip us most ’plexedly off.

The human-made things indispensable,
The systems on which we rely,
Are more and more incomprehensible.
Let lingo be lost, and we die.

In courts, Latin’s been reinvented
To keep lots of lawyers in pay.
You think you’re there self-represented?
Ah, no, you’re appearing pro se.

Some programmers had the selector
And offset; now more can feel great
They’ve ditched the array for the vector
And don’t walk it but iterate.

It’s medicine that’s most proactive:
Concealing sick truths is what pays.
This drug doesn’t sound like it’s radioactive
But makes you emit gamma rays.

I know who kicked off this trend, don’t I?
The church, even fractured from schism
Fought back in a word with its anti-
Disestablishmentarianism.

The past isn’t cause for real ire —
The future’s what gets out of hand;
Our tongue-twisting experts retire
And leave nothing we understand.

    November 2016

Thanks always returns

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