Friday, May 2, 2014


          TANSTAAFL  versus TINFL

            The acronym TANSTAAFL means ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’; and though I basically agree with the economic point, I have some problems with the way this acronym put it. I prefer TINFL, meaning ‘there is no free lunch’.
            The contraction “ain’t” is as grammatical as any other, but “ain’t no” is a double negative, read as single! This is “ain’t” as a false class indicator;  bogus folksiness.
            This sin of inauthenticity pales in comparison to TANSTAAFL’s verbosity. Nine words, and four of them are ‘such thing as a’; pure grammar without semantic content! Filler! Styrofoam! A four-word desert! By word seven you have to struggle to stay awake! And such pedantry dares to utter “ain’t”?
            Compare that to the directness of TINFL; there is no free lunch. Five words, authentic grammar, clear,  spare, and economical.

No comments:

Post a Comment