Socrates: Good Cleric! Good day to you!
Cleric: We will not stand for this, so called man of wisdom!
Socrates: What? Sarcasm so early in the day? Have you no time for pleasantries? Morning is a time for friendship, camaraderie, and love!
Cleric: We will not stand for this.
Socrates: Very well. You wish to engage me in debate? It’s one of my favorite pastimes. What are you talking about?
Cleric: I hear you try to turn the people away from religion and faith. You teach them to worship science and wickedness. You teach them logic.
Socrates: Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve been accused of corrupting the belief in the Old Gods. I guess what goes around comes around. But I’m confused . . .
Cleric: God protects me. The whispers of Satan that slip from your poisoned tongue cannot corrupt me.
Socrates: Such flattery. I admire your use of alliteration and metaphor. You say “We will not stand for this.” Can you clarify what you mean?
Cleric: We will not stand for what you do.
Socrates: Ah. I think I understand now. But because we have an audience, and because they might be unfamiliar with euphemism, could you simplify your sentence?
Cleric: I sense a snare of Satan. What do you mean?
Socrates: I am a simple man, I prefer plain speech. Your statement uses future tense — “we will” — combined with a negation of a euphemism — “not stand for” — combined with an obscure reference to “what I do.”
Cleric: God protect me.
Socrates: God protect us all. Can you please simplify your statment into a simpler sentence structure, as in Subject – Verb – Object.
Cleric: Syntax is a tool of Satan.
Socrates: Noam Chomsky doesn’t think so.
Cleric: Who is Noam Chomsky?
Socrates: Never mind. Anyway, can you please indulge me and convert your sentence to a simpler structure.
Cleric: I was never strong in grammar.
Socrates: Clearly. Please convert “We will” to simple present tense.
Cleric: We . . .
Socrates: Please convert “not stand for” to a simple verb. Don’t worry it’s not that hard.
Cleric: Uhhh. Umm. Let’s see. How about “oppose?”
Socrates: You’re doing great! You’re not as ignorant as you thought you were. Now here’s the hard part. What is it that I do that you actually oppose?
Cleric: We oppose . . . We oppose . . . We oppose . . .
Socrates: Calm down. You’re doing fine. I’m a very patient teacher.
Cleric: We oppose . . . We oppose . . . We oppose education.
Socrates: Perfect! I see! Then it’s no wonder you’re a Cleric.