What do we know about spifflicaters?
Well, very little, come to think of it. We know that without them, spiffles would go uncated, and then where would we be? That spiffles are capable of cating is evident by the fact that we have spifflicaters to cate them. We know that there is more than one spifflicater, and therefore it seems reasonable to presume there is also more than one spiffle, although this may not be the case. It might take any number of spifflicaters to cate just one spiffle. Perhaps the spifflicaters are very small and the spiffle is very large; perhaps even the best-constructed of spifflicaters breaks down after cating a spiffle only one or two times.
As is the case with philosophy, economics, and long division, the amount we know about spifflicaters is dwarfed by the amount we don’t know. We do not know what spifflicaters are, what they cost, or how they operate. (Then again, I don’t know how my clock radio operates, so maybe that’s no big deal.) Would you even know a spifflicater if you ran across one? Would you want to run across one?
For that matter, we can’t even be sure if spiffles ought to be cated in the first place. Perhaps the only good spiffles are uncated, and cating them only lessens their élan. (Somehow a spiffle without élan seems very sad to me.) Maybe spifflicaters are nasty, destructive things; somehow they do sound small and numerous, like bedbugs, only with saliva.
This is definitely the sort of thing the government should look into. I’d look into it myself, but I’ve been very busy lately. I think the government should look into the spifflicater issue even if it means dropping everything they’re doing. Speaking of which, what are they doing?
I found the word spifflicate and other lexical oddities on World Wide Words, produced by Michael Quinion, a British Etymologist http://www.worldwidewords.org/index.htm