The Bugle podcast, though not begun until the middle of the second Reagan Administration, nonetheless played a critical role in the mid-20th century development of the field of sociolinguistics, the study of the intersection between language and culture. Through the use of a time machine, and the simple ruse of disguising himself as a cucumber sandwich, the pioneering and hilarious linguist Dell Hymes was able to engage in participant observation of the recording of a typical Bugle episode. His findings were revolutionary: it was clear that language could no longer simply be explained as a function of evolutionary necessity - the ravings of these two men were so removed from any possibility of usefulness or adaptive advantage that there must be other factors at work. Thus began the long and arduous challenge to the utilitarianism of Noam Chomsky, the most reactionary man who ever mysteriously interviewed like a flaming radical. There was much work to do: each sentence of that one Bugle podcast was dissected by teams of emaciated graduate students, paid in breadcrumbs and drops of tequila. Each nuance of expression was teased apart for any sign of directed intelligence, despite the apparent obvious lack of same. Over time, a startling picture emerged: the linguistic events contained in the "podcast" were driven by a deep need that had not been previously given its rightful place in theories of language - the speaker's need to hear the sound of his or her own voice, regardless of the inanity or sheer irrelevance of the utterance which may emerge. From these hard-won insights has flowed the mighty river (well, moderately-sized creek that shows up on some maps and not others) of sociolinguistic theory. The world has thus been made a little brighter, and a little wonkier.
Fuck you Chris