So, in tribute to this (grand, delightful, even orgasmic) book, I am offering a selection of fan fiction related to language or linguistics - fan fiction, in short, designed to appeal to the word nerd in all of us. (Because there is a word nerd in all of us, right? Of course there is. I cannot believe otherwise.)
Word nerds unite! You have nothing to lose but inappropriately-used punctuation! And your sanity, of course, but that was living on borrowed time anyway.
Best FF That Demonstrates That You Can Tell Pretty Much Everything About a Relationship, or for That Matter a Person, by Looking at Dictionary Use: Prolix, by Dira Sudis, aka dsudis. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. It was tough to choose just one language-themed story from this fandom, because this is one fandom that really gets the importance of word-related fan fiction. But, in the end, I had to go with this story, because it lives in my mind (and heart) at the intersection of my language bitchiness and my fan fiction love: the perfect blend, at least for me, of the things I hold dear in life. (Well, some of them; I do have loves and interests besides smut and English. I mean, yes, I'm pathetic, but no one is that pathetic.) Kowalski is expanding his vocabulary. Fraser is watching, and I don't mean just watching Kowalski's dictionary use. And, speaking of dictionaries, there is a detail of Fraser's history in this story that is so perfect, so exactly right, that I completely believe it; that detail has been written into canon in my brain. It just feels that true. Although, for the record, a good vocabulary is not the usual result of poor parenting, so no one should try that at home.
Best FF That Demonstrates That True Love Is Never Needing a Thesaurus: Two Words for the Same Thing, by Bastet, aka sweetvalleyslut. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. Reason number 1,239 why you should love Sports Night: canon word nerds. Slashy canon word nerds! It's a dream come true, frankly: smart, funny men who have the perfect way with words and are so clearly in love that it's impossible not to hum "O Perfect Love" every time they smile at each other, or in fact have any kind of interaction. Here Danny and Casey demonstrate that there is nothing sexier than a person who has an extensive knowledge of synonyms and corrects other people during important conversations. (Because that is sexy, right?) Another amazing thing about this story: it's an all-dialog fic that works. Of course, if there was ever a TV show that was essentially all dialog, Sports Night was it, so it's not exactly shocking that this works, but it does show how well the author gets the Sorkin sound. (And there's also a bonus word nerd in the form of Jeremy, who asks the question about Quo Vadimus that has been bothering me ever since the first time I read the name. I love Jeremy. And not just because he makes everyone else on Earth look relatively un-nerdy, though that definitely helps.)
Best FF That Features Tim Simultaneously Acting Like an Adolescent Boy, an Adolescent Girl, a Member of the Batfamily, and Tim. But Mostly Tim.: Question of Semantics, by weirdnessmagnet. D.C. Universe, Tim Drake (Robin III)/Dick Grayson (Nightwing). The author describes this as "schmangst," and she's got that right, but this is so how the birdboys would do schmangst. Tim wants everyone to be as perfect and subtle as he is. Dick wants everyone to be as open and direct as he is. And, in the end, it all boils down to semantics. And, of course, the two of them work it out through hot sex, because, really, Tim and Dick were made for PWP. Word nerd bonus: Tim has special words he hates! That is just so perfectly, lovably Tim, and it makes me feel such a bond of sympathy with him that I'm actually sort of scared, because identification with a member of the Batclan is one of the seven warning signs of insanity. (They don't tell you this, but most psychologists have dumped the DSM, with all its revisions and finicky, ever-changing criteria, in favor of the simpler and more accurate Superheroic and Mutant Diagnostic Manual. Clinicians love it, and patients feel much more comfortable when their mental disorders are expressed in terms of Marvel v. D.C. v. independent. Demand the SMDM today!)
Best Use of a Tattoo in Fan Fiction Ever, and I Say This as Someone Who Likes Her Fan Fiction Inky: Alignment, by Pares, aka kormantic. The Dark Is Rising, Bran Davies/Will Stanton (with implied John Rowlands/Owen Davies, unless I've completely lost my mind). I'm not sure why this story appealed to my language geek as much as it did. (Actually, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the last lines, and possibly also something to do with the fandom. I mean, the canon has the greatest imaginary book ever, so naturally this fandom would call to those of us with a literature kink.) In "Alignment," Will and Bran meet again, years after the events of Silver on the Tree, and they get together. Because, clearly, they were destined for each other. I will hear no argument on this point. Pares's view of Will and Bran is a little unusual, but in a good way. And then there's the tattoo, which is total genius; I need Bran to have this tattoo, and that's all there is to it. And did I mention the last lines? I see I did. But I'm mentioning them again, because, wow, that's just...so...I mean...they're just...let me start over. The last few lines, especially the last things Will and Bran say to each other, please my inner language geek to the point where she's dazed and incoherent. (Well, obviously.) Yeah, I could do with a lot more FF like this.