Meanwhile, in the Dept. of External Affairs

It's late at night; everyone else has gone home. On your left, the offices of what you later learn is one of the more controversial agencies of the Department of External Affairs: namely, the Conversation-Transcript Analysis Lab. It sounds like they’re reviewing a text-message interaction right now.

“ ‘… effervescently’? What the hell?”—“We were pressed for time. It was a reference internal to the relationship.”—“A misplaced one. Comes off as goofy. Plus it’s way too many syllables.”—“Fair enough; it is too long.”—“I expect she thinks it sounds stupid and is disappointed in the quality of composition as well as the lack of promptness with which it was sent.”—“Uh, back up a bit …”

It’s a notoriously logismoi-ridden operation, but it occasionally produces useful results.—Just often enough to make it worth keeping the agency around, I guess?—That’s a matter of debate.