Citing figures provided by STATEC, experts have predicted that the average duration of Luxembourg’s traditional greeting "moien" will grow to an astounding nine seconds by the year 2050.
"You don't need a degree in linguistics, high-tech recording equipment, or an understanding of mathematical modeling to know that moiens are getting longer, and moiens are getting deeper," said Alan Recher, a researcher in the futurology department at the University of Wiltz.
Recher points to the fact that in 2000, the average moien lasted just under a second, whereas today it has stretched to 1.8 seconds.
"By the end of the decade, it will grow to three seconds," he said. "By 2040, the average moien will last 5.5 seconds, and get ready, because by the middle of the century, it will last for an unprecedented nine seconds."
© J.P. Gomez
While many Luxembourg residents express alarm – with some even circulating a petition calling for the government to take action against these out-of-control moiens – others celebrate the news, saying that the traditional greeting is finally getting the chance to be what it has always wanted to be.
"Moien is very melodic," sang local opera singer Diana Grossina, a mezzo-soprano. "Since the beginning, it has dreamed of being more than a way to open a conversation between a grandmother and a fish vendor."
"Moien is beautiful, moien is strong, and moien wants to be free," she added, belting out a powerful rendition of moien that lasted 32 seconds.
Recher and his fellow futurists have imagined a tomorrow in which moiens require more time from the lives of people in the Grand Duchy, with some futurists offering an optimistic view.
"The increased physical demands of saying longer moiens 10, 20, or 100 times a day will lead to increased lung capacity and better cardiovascular health," said Estuardo Mendes. "By 2050, the typical Luxembourger will be able to run the ING marathon without training, all thanks to the moien."
Other futurists, however, paint a bleak picture.
"All social life and professional encounters will be stupid and pointless," said pessimist Noelle Wecker. "As soon as you finish saying moien to everyone at a party or work meeting, it will be time to say goodbye."
"And we see the opposite phenomenon with äddi," she continued. "While just a decade ago, the average äddi lasted 1.2 seconds, today it's down to under a second."
"By 2050, the poor äddi will nearly disappear and will be nothing more than a ghost of its former self, an imperceptible opening of the mouth and a lightning-fast 'i' sound."
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