Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Letters to the Editor (CLV.2) (212 visits)

Letters to the Editor. A Plea For Decency Linguistics has gone bad, and we need to do something about it. Our discipline is riddled with sinful words like syntax, syndeton, synthetic, and crude innuendos such as genitival, clitic, deictic, and dangling participles. Is it a mere happenstance that durative sounds like the name of a condom? No, it is not. It is a deliberate attempt to vulgarise the field of linguistics by gaudy grammarians after having spent too many nights at X-Bars. These all too obvious attempts at sexualising our discipline must be stopped. It is a moral crime to allow innocent, pure students to be bombarded with such tawdry terms as ... more ]

2. Cryptolinguistic Puzzle SebēMary ShapiroTruman State University (160 visits)

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Sebē. Mary Shapiro, Truman State University. Like other cryptic crosswords, the clues in this puzzle are not straightforward. Unlike most, however, this one focuses mainly on languages and linguistics. For instance, the clue for Zapotec might be “Oto-Manguean variety alters pez coat” (anagram of pez coat), or “Indigenous Mexican language to destroy overtime prior to European Commission” (ZAP + O.T. + E.C.), or “a nice top, a zany blouse conceals retro Oaxacan language” (niCE TOP, A Zany), or many other combinations of puns, anagrams, or ... more ]

3. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (91 visits)

The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective. Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!* ... Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust usand cut yourself some SLAC! ... To whimever it may discern, I am but a lowly interpreter. My career has not yet reached the heights whereby I may gigglesnort at the antics of students or divert myself with the vagaries of theoretical noo-aunties. I have whoever, reached an imp’s ass in my development. Ewe sea, I have bean reliably ... more ]

4. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XVIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (73 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XVII. The SpecGram Archive Elves™. A recent expedition into the SpecGram archives turned up a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. This seventeenth batch of posters from that collection has been digitized and presented here for you, dear reader, to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. The full collection, which will continue to grow, is available from the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda in an easily browsable and sharable ... more ]

5. BabelRefutation of the OED’s List of Spurious WordsDouglas S. Files (71 visits)

Refutation of the OED’s List of Spurious Words. Douglas S. Files, Lansing, MI, USA, In researching 13th century writings on Estonian dwarves, I recently came across the following manuscript. The story within was copied down by a 12th century Lutheran monk who had been defrocked for claiming that he could do cold fusion using Tupperware. In any case, the story make use of several forms listed by the Oxford English Dictionary as “spurious”. I aim to bring this manuscript to the attention of the world so that (1) several solid, necessary terms may be returned to common English usage, and (2) I will be nominated for the 1991 Nobel Prize in linguistics. The story follows: The maiden lowered her eyes ... more ]

6. Shigudo, ReluctantlySir Edmund C. Gladstone-Chamberlain (63 visits)

Shigudo, Reluctantly. Sir Edmund C. Gladstone-Chamberlain, Professor Emeritus of Linguistic Science, Department of Lexicology and Glottometrics, Devonshire-upon-Glencullen University, Southampton. In 1963, at the tender age of 24, I found myself on an expedition deep in the Amazon Basin, up a smallish tributary of the Río Ucayali. There we encountered a well-established tribe of indigenous people, numbering close to 400 and living in relative isolation, who called themselves the Shigudo. Several members of the tribe spoke nearly fluent Spanish, and we were able to communicate quite effectively with them. As our expedition was chiefly anthropological in nature, and the Shigudo were, anthropologically speaking, ... more ] Book!

7. Vol CLXXXI, No 4 (48 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXI, Number 4 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief Keith Slater, Executive Editor, Associate Editors, Pete Bleackley Jonathan Downie Mikael Thompson, Assistant Editors, Virginia Bouchard Mark Mandel Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Samuel Andersson Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Tel Monks Ollie Sayeed Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Daniel Swanson Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Penguins Need Not Apply June 2018 ... more ]

8. A Minim of Wine and a Minim of Confusion for Maximal ContusionArtemus Zebulon Pratt (38 visits)

A Minim of Wine and a Minim of Confusion for Maximal Contusion. by Artemus Zebulon Pratt, Speculative Grammarian Editor-on-the-Lam. Just the other night, after treating myself to the new Anti-Kosher Burger at our local eatery (shrimp, bacon, fried egg, and cheese atop locally produced rabbit patties), I had the need to treat myself for the new Anti-Kosher Burger and so was relaxing with an unfortunate bottle of experimental wine my wife had been prevailed upon somehow to buy some time ago: “A gift just for you!” she said. I smiled, but knowing her wont it was strictly wait-and-see. She held it out further. “Asparagus wine,” I replied. She held it out even ... more ]

9. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (37 visits)

Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics. by Trey Jones. As a service to our young and impressionable readers who are considering pursuing a career in linguistics, Speculative Grammarian is pleased to provide the following Gedankenexperiment to help you understand the possibilities and consequences of doing so. For our old and bitter readers who are too far along in their careers to have any real hope of changing the eventual outcome, we provide the following as a cruel reminder of what might have been. Let the adventure begin ... more ] Book!

10. About Us (34 visits)

Speculative Grammarian and Our Story. The august journal Speculative Grammarian has a long, rich, and varied history, weaving an intricate and subtle tapestry from disparate strands of linguistics, philology, history, politics, science, technology, botany, pharmacokinetics, computer science, the mathematics of humor, basket weaving, archery, glass blowing, roller coaster design, and bowling, among numerous other, less obvious fields. SpecGram, as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike, has for centuries sought to bring together the greatest yet least understood minds of the time, embedding itself firmly in the cultural and psychological matrix of the global society while ... more ] Podcast!

11. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (32 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part E—Phonetics vs. Phonology. Hilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will skip the introduction, as we have been there, done that. Once more into the breach! For this installment in our series on Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to Phonetics and Phonology and the difference between the two: Phonetics:, ... Phonology:, ... Thanks to Professor Phlogiston, of the Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn, for the opportunity of a lifetime, as a student, to, on this occasion, share with so many of my fellow linguisticians my views, as illustrated above, concerning matters, which are of such immeasurable import ... more ] Merch! Book!

12. Merchandise (32 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Merchandise. Introduction. In order to lend a hand to our good friends and steadfast supporters over at the Linguist List during their 2006 fund drive, we prepared a small selection of limited issue SpecGram merchandise, including T-shirts, stickers and magnets. Originally these items were only available as prizes awarded as part of the Linguist List fund drive. In 2012, several of the SpecGram editors suffered from a rare form of collective frontal lobe damage, which made it seem like a good idea to put together a SpecGram book. The result was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. ... Discussion. As a result of initial positive feedback, ... more ]

13. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (32 visits)

Language Made Difficult, Vol. L — The SpecGram LingNerds are on their own this time. After some Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics, the LingNerds discuss the dangers of mispronouncing the names of Canadian provinces, and then advise students as to what they should *not* do. They also fail to celebrate the 50th episode. Many outtakes are provided. ... listen ]

14. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ५१ (32 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ५१. I’ve a hell and a half of a time In just getting my poems to rhyme, And for being a prodigy In linguistic prosody, How I follow the rules is a crime —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, There was an old lady from Beith Who could utter without any teeth Her fibbilanth became A famouf tranfcribing game And her vowel sounds beggared belief —Col. O. Nihilist, The twins clashed in dress, and with increasing er- ethistic contention and teasing, were Divergently heveled, And their rivalry sibled Until she accused him of misling her —Недостаточно Денег When constituents ... more ]

15. Ministry of Propaganda (29 visits)

The SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. Welcome to the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. The SpecGram Archive Elves™ have undertaken a project to digitize and share a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. We provide the digitized posters here for you to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. Select a poster to see a higher quality image, and for links to share on social media, to email friends, and to view or download the highest quality version of the image. If you have ideas for other messages that need ... more ]

16. University News (29 visits)

University News. All New Graduate Programme in Grammarless Languages. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia The University of Garforth has recently announced the world’s first graduate programme in Grammarless Languages, now accepting applications for 2019. The study of grammarless languages emerged in the mid-noughties largely as a response to heavily inflected languages such as Latin, which was labelled by the then-influential Kippax Linguistic Circle as “just hogging too much grammar, when there’s so little to go around.” The first International Conference on Grammarless Languages was held in March 2008 to great acclaim, but the ... more ]

17. The Psychological Reality of Fake Newsand Vice VersaA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (28 visits)

The Psychological Reality of Fake News and Vice Versa. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. In an unusual turn of events, linguisticsqua body of practitioners rather than body of knowledgemay have something beneficial to contribute to the much broader public and political discourse of the day. But first, a short history lesson for the young’uns. Using an unnamed technological purveyor of word sequences well-known to computational linguists and other word nerds, one can see that the use of the phrase psychological reality increased steadily through the early 20th century, with a dramatic increase after 1960 to a peak around 1980, ... more ]

18. SyllaBerriesAdvertisement (27 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT SyllaBerries. If you love SyllaBerries but hate having to twist your head to read them, ᙅᗩᑎᕕᗪᒑᗋᕆ ᕕᗸᐤᖇᒑᘜᒑᕱᗗᒪ SyllaBerries are Evans-sent! Made with Rice Lake rice and Saskatoon berries, they’re the creation for the Cree Nation! You’re never more than 45 degrees away from a perfectly aligned syllable. Didn’t get the vowels you wanted? Simply stir and try again. Try just one bowl and you’ll be Inuit! ᙅᗩᑎᕕᗪᒑᗋᕆ ᕕᗸᐤᖇᒑᘜᒑᕱᗗᒪ SyllaBerries are available at Abigail’s Abu Ghraib Abugida Bodega or wherever fine foods are sold. Major Mills NEW! SyllaBerries ... more ]

19. Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart IA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius (27 visits)

Good Enough for Folk Etymology Part I. A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. The SpecGram Archive Elves recently made a large collection of documents available to the XQK Directorate, by leaving them on our doorstep in black plastic sacks in the middle of the night. After an unfortunate incident involving a cucumber, a marmot, and the Director’s favourite coffee mug, we were given the task of cataloging these documents. Going through the collection, we have found that, while apparently lacking provenance (which the Archive Elves attribute to a bizarre set of circumstances obscurely alluded to in editorials passim), they shed unexpected light on ... more ]

20. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart IVStatistical Machine TranslationPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (26 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part IV — Statistical Machine Translation. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will dispense with the preliminaries, and get to the meat of the matter. For the next installment in our Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to statistical machine translation, using semi- automatically aligned texts: ... Next time: Phonetics vs. Phonology with guest cartoonist Hilário Parenchyma. References, Booth, A. D. L. Brandwood, and J. P. Cleave (1958). Mechanical resolution of linguistic problems. Butterworths Scientific Publications. Brown, P. S. Della Pietra, V. Della Pietra, and R. Mercer (1991). “The ... more ] Book!

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Last updated Jun. 17, 2018.