An advanced linguistics research scientist from the University of Greater Humberside claims to have decoded an ancient language that has long mystified the male population. The origins of the language known colloquially as “slithering” are unclear but it remains used to this day, primarily in office settings and almost exclusively by women. In an interview with YouWhat? magazine professor Jason Langford explained the nature of his breakthrough.
Most male office workers will at some point have witnessed two females speaking almost inaudibly at close quarters while hunched over a desk. To the untrained ear they are just making exaggerated mouth movements while producing a sibilant hissing sound, often accompanied by a narrowing of the eyes and subtle hand gesticulations, but there has been a long held belief that this forms the basis of some language that predates recorded history. There is even evidence that communication on a similar wavelength was taking place in the Jurassic period, with a similar oratory capability evident in fossils of a razor tongued reptile known as Bitchimus Gossipus.
Langford then explained the extraordinary event that led to his amazing discovery.
I had been fascinated by the language for some considerable time but thorough scientific investigations have been hampered by the Proximity Phenomena whereby the hissing sounds tail away to nothing as a third party passes closer. It’s a little bit like a grasshopper – you can hear it but as you move towards it the noise stops. Then one day through the most incredible luck I made a pivotal discovery right here in my own office!
It was a Tuesday morning and as I arrived at work Irene on reception was engaged in a covert exchange of slithering with my PA Martha. Of course, they spotted me and became quiet until I had passed but shortly afterwards I received an email from Irene intended for Martha but inadvertently addressed to me. It occurred to me that the content of the email may have been related to their exchange and in a Eureka moment I realised that our reception security tapes may have captured their audio output. Sure enough the whole exchange was there on tape and through a painstaking process of transposition I was able to match sounds with phrases.
Reaction to Langford’s findings has been magnanimous with scientific luminaries comparing the crucial email to the famous Rosetta Stone in terms of significance. Langford remains modest however pointing out that the discovery only deciphers a small albeit significant range of vocabulary. Asked about the content of the message Langdon was more elusive:
It catalogues various topics of workplace discontent, including personal remarks pertinent to a senior linguistic professor at this establishment. It’s a private conversation and primarily of scientific interest, you wouldn’t understand it. It really is very dull.
When approached for her reaction Irene was reluctant to comment stating merely that she was looking forward to starting a new job and would like to put the whole affair behind her.