Hertz: What Do You Mean, Plergb?

By John Hertz: Your readers might want to know what “Plergb” means.  If so they would not be alone.

It was introduced by Tom Digby during his days in APA-L (Am. Publ. Ass’n – LASFS; LASFS the L.A. S-F Soc. having been the host of L, though not the sponsor, more than forty years now).  He was Fan Guest of Honor at ConFrancisco, the 1993 World Science Fiction Convention; his GoH book Along Fantasy Way was edited by Lee Gold and can still be obtained from her, lee.gold (at) ca (dot) rr (dot) com.

The alien in Niven’s “What Can You Say About Chocolate-Covered Manhole Covers?” (1971) is Digby’s analogue.

Digby taught us of the Plergb Commission (not its real name).  That “not its real name” is another APA-L running gag.  In this case it is because the real name is P.L.E.R.G.B.C.O.M.M.I.S.S.I.O.N. = Plergb Language Entropy Regulatory Governing Bureaucratic Commission Overseeing Multiple Managerial Issues Surrounding Singular Instances of Nomenclature.

The by-laws provide, “The word Plergb may be used in many ways, some of which have not been discovered yet.”  Thus explaining is customary, e.g. “Plergb, defined as having corrected all the typographical errors in this comment”, or  “Plergb, defined as a pair of robot musicians”.

Also “‘Plergb’ is always capitalized because it is the name of the word Plergb.”

Also we have been informed of the medieval spelling, Plyrrhghb.  Also the eternal question, and its answer, namely Glorb g’dorpt-borpt?  Plergb.

I’m told Digby has a Website – http://www.well.com/user/bubbles