With 99% of precincts reporting, design number 2 was declared the winner in this week's PLC 23 T-shirt Design Contest. Designer and linguist, Cassandre Creswell, was pleased with the 44% of the vote her winning design garnered. "Although I didn't actually get a full fledged majority, I'm pretty excited by the whole thing," said Creswell.
Although the results appeared to be fairly clearcut, they come amidst rumors of possible election tampering. Creswell, chair of the PLC organizing committee, fully denies any misdeeds. "Sure, it looks pretty shady that I won, but what are you going to do?" asked Creswell.
The submitter of anonymous design #1, who still prefers to retain this anonymous status, said, "I'm bitter. I'm definitely bitter. This whole thing is a travesty. May the entire t-shirt-venture go down in flames. That'll teach that Cassie a lesson."
Nonetheless, other Penn linguists appeared to be pleased, no matter how the "win" was determined. "I think this does a lot to enhance the undorkiness of our profession and field in general. Linguists used to have at least a modicum of coolness several decades ago, but the eighties really seemed to do them in. Maybe this is a small step towards some level of at least mainstream--if not cutting edge--hipness and attitude," ruminated first year linguistics grad student and PLC committee member, Tom McFadden.
Sharon Sturtevant, PLC organizing committee member and second year grad student, ultimately chose Creswell's design, but appreciated the wealth and variety of possible choices. "I seriously considered choosing design #5 [Na-Rae Han's design] because it incorporated the names of the committee members. I think, however, that it would have been universally recognized as a cheap and pathetic way of having our names on the t-shirt," said Sturtevant.
Second year grad student and self-proclaimed web page diva for the PLC committee, Na-Rae Han was disappointed with her defeat, but still positive about the event overall. "I was breathless in anticipation of the final results of this exciting contest. This contest has had its ups and downs, but luckily our you-can't-and-you-won't-and-you-don't stop attitude has pulled us through," said Han.
Other design contest submitters were not available for comment after refusing to return this reporter's phone calls.
The winning t-shirt design appears to be making a theoretical statement as well, according to some linguists. One unemployed former post-doc in linguistics, who declined to be identified for obvious career-related reasons, said, "The election results are certainly an implicit repudiation of Chomsky's (1990) position on linguistic formalization. REAL linguists, i.e. scientists of sound, ought to indeed be `mathematically putting it down.' Anyone who says otherwise is just hurting themselves."
A spokesperson for Noam Chomsky had no comment, but as he walked away was heard to mutter "Those Beastie Boys can just kiss my butt, and the same for those Penn linguists. See if I buy their t-shirt next week...and I'm not getting the big guy one either."
It's been widely thought that Chomsky is still smarting from an apparent snubbing at last year's Beastie Boy's-organized Tibetan Freedom concert where he was denied a backstage pass and where the East Timor booth was placed at the far corner of the concert grounds, behind the third stage and kitty-corner from the port-a-potties. Possibly it was this dissing that led to the as-yet-unhealed rift between Chomsky and the Beastie Boys.
PLC T-shirts will be available for sale during the landmark 23rd Annual next weekend. The PLC committee will be releasing further details next week as they think of them.