Thu
Nov 1

America's Armed nurble

Language Log alerted me to the SMBC cartoon on Nurbling, which proposes that all political speeches could be improved --and remain comprehensible -- if everything but the nouns were changed to the word "nurble".

The Language Log post goes into detail about some of the nouns the SMBC guy had missed, but I think a simpler hypothesis is worth testing: that all political speeches could remain perfectly comprehensible if any subset of words were changed to "nurble", even if that subset was randomly chosen.

Here's some Python:

import random

def random_nurble(text):
    text = text.split(' ')
    nurble_count = len(text) / 3

    for i in range(nurble_count):
        text[random.randint(0, len(text) - 1)] = 'nurble'

    return ' '.join(text)

There are several bugs (it can re-nurble what has already been nurbled, it doesn't do punctuation, etc), but I think the results are pretty good:

>>> random_nurble("These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's Armed Forces.")

These nurble are a nurble to the nurble selflessness, and teamwork of nurble nurble Forces.

These nurble are nurble nurble to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's Armed nurble

These achievements are a nurble to the courage, selflessness, nurble nurble nurble America's Armed nurble

These nurble are a testament nurble nurble courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's nurble nurble