Vol. 1, Issue 22, October 14, 2003
The Aeronautical Cure
UtterPants

Canada Crippled by Article Shortage

Canadian government officials have requested an emergency influx of articles to compensate for an unexpected loss of words.

"We were not prepared," admitted George Chevallereau, of the Canadian Ministry of Grammar, "and we are hoping to receive international aid quickly."

Canada and Britain have long been plagued by a steady loss of articles before such words as "hospital" and "university," leading to such idiosyncratic expressions as "going to hospital." However, both definite and indefinite articles have now disappeared completely from large sections of eastern and central Canada.

"So they can't stick 'the' or 'a' before a noun," said Ohio State University English professor Lars Fenridge. "It's their own fault for spending so much time with French-speaking people." When informed that French has both definite and indefinite articles, Fenridge shrugged. "Still not sending up any good American words, I can tell you that."

In point of fact, some Canadian specialists believe the phenomenon actually spread to Manitoba from Montana.

"The monosyllabic fugue that has its inexorable grip on that isolated state has never been adequately understood, or controlled," said Professor Brian Neville of the University of Toronto. "It seems disingenuous of the United States to disavow any knowledge of this distinctly American phenomenon. We'll all be talking like taciturn cowboys before the end of the month." Neville declined to reveal where he had obtained the articles used in his interview, adding only that he had "sources."

"I am not concerned about America's articles," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "We have long been positioned to provide emergency parts of speech to American citizens, be they nouns, verbs, and yes, even definite and indefinite articles." When asked where this stockpile of extra words had been obtained, Ridge said only "no comment."

Canada is taking no chances with its verb supply and is importing extra stockpiles from Scotland, which "doesn't need them since they never do anything over there anyway."


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