13, 12:31 PM PST
Iraq or Iraqu? MLA Faces Greatest Challenge
NEW YORK -- The
Modern Language Association, desperate for a stable, uneventful
convention this year, is once again being rocked by yet another
At issue -- whether the word "Iraq"
should end with a "U" or not.
A small band of English professors and
graduate students are publicly threatening to settle the debate
with "a display of pugilism of the fiercest sort that may
result in the spilling of the reddest claret from the no-goods'
noses" should no consensus be reached.
"Clearly, we ought to be calling Iraqu 'Iraqu,'
per standard American English usage," states Prof. Charles
Marbre, head of English Literature department at Modesto Junior
College in California.
"We don't spell Quicken 'Qicken,'
now do we? No, we do not," Marbre explained.
Marbre, who first raised the issue with
fellow members of the MLA at the 1992 convention, declared that
English should "brook no exceptions" to the "Q-U"
"In a language already reeling from
the thousands of exceptions, thus confounding a complete understanding
of it, must we, after all these centuries of continuous standardization,
surrender the organizing principles of the English language?"
Marbre asks in his 1997 paper, "For U the Q Calls."
The MLA has never addressed the issue,
and now Marbre and his small band of renegade professors, lecturers
and graduate students are impatient.
"I must confess that I am near the
end of this particular journey," Marbre declared, cracking
his knuckles. "Should the MLA once again shelve my motion
to standardize the spelling of Iraqu, 'heads will roll,' as they
However, Marbre may have met his match
with MLA member Jorge "Dos Toneladas" Gonzalez, a 350-pound
wrestler from Honduras.
"IF THAT BENDAJO THINK HE MAKE
ME TO SPELL IRAQ DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I DO, I STUFF THE PUTO'S
CAJONES INTO HIS BUTTHOLE, AND I LIKE SEE WHAT HE DO 'BOUT
IT!" Gonzalez declared during a guest appearance on last
Thursday's episode of WWE Smackdown.
Such animosity between opposing camps at
MLA functions are not unheard of. Last year, three professors
and a student died when rioting ensued after the MLA declared
serial commas to be "standard usage."
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