I’m back on the east coast this week, visiting my family for Thanksgiving. Instead of taking three days off from work, I’m working out of my company’s NYC office, and staying with my brother, who lives in Manhattan. (We’ll both go back to my parents’ house in NJ on Wednesday or Thursday.)
Anyway, while I was here, I looked up some people I knew, to see if any of them worked in this office. And it turns out there’s a researcher here, who I knew from a big summer project I worked on six years ago, back when I was a starry-eyed undergrad studying NLP. This guy was super cool; I always tried to eat at the same lunch table as him and the project leader, since they were both really clever and would riff off each other the entire lunch period, making terrible puns. He also wrote a brilliant song about NLP, with piano part and all, which he played at the closing ceremony of the summer project. Basically, this guy is my inspiration for all work-related art and poetry.
Anyway, I met up with him for a couple minutes this afternoon, just to say hello. And he was just as erudite as ever (he majored in classics many years ago, and is the kind of person who always takes care with his predicate nominatives). I told him I was thinking about his NLP song the other day. And he told me that, thanks to me, he had started using the word “elsewhen” (which apparently I had been advocating as an example of “words which don’t exist, but really should”).
Anyway, if this is the kind of legacy I have, then I’m thrilled! I would love to be remembered as the person who introduced “elsewhen” to people’s vocabularies.
Before we parted, I told him my latest linguistic agenda: to change the conjugation of “arrive” to “arrove” and “arriven”. He seemed on board with the idea.