When Roget first wrote his Thesaurus,
There were many who thought it might bore us,
But others did raise
Its clamorous praise
Like a hymn, or an anthem, or chorus.
There once was a translation scholar
Whose students did nothing but holler.
At the mention of Barthes,
They would sneeze, burp and fart
So he changed all their textbooks to Koller.
—Col. O. Nihilist
There once was a linguist from Phuket
Who talked Thai with Nan from Nantucket.
He came to a stop
And asked “What means รอบ?”
And slapped her when she told him “circuit.”
Once there stood a man in God-knows-where,
With tape machine and two notepads spare.
Neither pen nor batt’ries
Worked for their salaries,
As is the case with fieldwork anywhere.
There once was a minimalist who,
Transcribed every vowel as just [u]
His ear was pure tin,
But his theory was in
[su u sturtud duuŋ ut tu]
After writing a long dissertation
On the theme of debuccalization,
I find that my mind
Is no longer inclined
To delve into phonologization.
—Morris Swadesh III