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1. Vol CLXXXIV, No 4 (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIV, Number 4 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief Keith Slater, Executive Editor Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor, Associate Editors, Pete Bleackley Mark Mandel, Assistant Editors, Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Joe McAvoy Tel Monks Mary Shapiro, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General It’s Enough to Make One See the Bright Side of Anarchy June 2019 ... more ]

2. Snot-Caked Coke Nuggets XXIIIAdvertisement (4 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Snot-Caked Coke Nuggets XXIII. As part of our ongoing series resurrecting the forgotten gems of American disco, Cosmotel Records is pleased to present Snot-Caked Coke Nuggets XXIII: Universal Dance Grammar. With the end of the Linguistics Wars in 1975, young linguists were ready to break out their dancing shoes, rayon/orlon/nylon/acrylic digs and duds, and gold and silver chains, then strut out onto the dance floor in style and BOOGIE DOWN!!! This album contains many of the greatest hits and unheralded wonders of the disco era in college towns with linguistics departments all around the country, many of which haven’t been played publicly since X-Bar Techno ... more ]

3. Ockhamian Etymologies: The Mysteries of English Unraveled with William of OckhamDiddles McGraw (3 visits)

Ockhamian Etymologies: The Mysteries of English Unraveled with William of Ockham. Diddles McGraw, the Viscount Average, Lecturer in Okhamian Poetics. Item #213: OK There are a multiplicity of etymologies out there for that most international of English words, OK. Some trace it to okey-dokey, others to the state of Oklahoma. The most likely etymology, however, is down to our familiar Franciscan friend, William of Ockham. In his desire to keep language as parsimonious as possible, William of Ockham periodically reduced all the lexemes in his idiolect to one sole form Ockham. If people asked him where he was from, he’d proudly reply “Ockham.” However, when the abbot asked him ... more ]

4. A Natural History of the WugRodabaugh Venditto (3 visits)

A Natural History of the Wug. Rodabaugh Venditto, Natural Language History Unit. The Wug, or Papuan White Quail (Coturnix neologistica), is a small, white or pale blue, ground-dwelling bird from the Old World Quail (Coturnix) family. It is found only in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Being of a timid disposition, and living in dense undergrowth, it has rarely been seen by outsiders and almost never photographed. Its appearance is known to the outside world mainly by the simple line drawings made of it by the Nappaholi people, for whom it is a totemic animal. Wugs mate for life, and pairs are inseparable, so much so that on sighting a wug, the next thing you are likely to say is “Now there are two ... more ]

5. An Editorial Comment on ElHaye and JiŋkinsButch McBastard and Jonathan van der Meer (3 visits)

An Editorial Comment on ElHaye and Jiŋkins. Butch McBastard and Jonathan van der Meer. We, too, have been “watching with interest” (ElHaye and Jiŋkins, 2011) the “ongoing” cosmolinguological “debate” among several well-known and well-respected physolinguists. As supporters of free speech and vigorous debate, the editors of Speculative Grammarian encourage and support the energetic exchange of ideas, even when those ideas are tripe. Thus, we felt compelled to let ElHaye and Jiŋkins have their say, even though their anti-lexicalist and anti-Bloduweddan comments are anathema to even the least tolerant among us. (However, of note, their anti-Chomskyite ... more ] Podcast!

6. Phlegmatic Scholarship: Ahem! A Cross-Cultural Study of the Signifying Throat-Clear by Justa Little-Hörss, PhDReviewed by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt (3 visits)

Phlegmatic Scholarship: Ahem! A Cross-Cultural Study of the Signifying Throat-Clear . by Justa Little-Hörss, PhD, Dilettante University Press, Reviewed by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt. [Note: This seminal work of Phlegmatic Scholarship first appeared in Verbatim: The Language Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Spring 2006), and is reprinted here by permission —Eds.] There’s clearing one’s throat, and there’s clearing one’s throat. In midwinter cold season, we all learn to tune out the repetitive rasps of our families, friends, and colleagues as they struggle to free themselves from the unwelcome matter that accumulates within. Similarly, the throat-clearing manifestations of ... more ]

7. Tenure CaseAssistant Professor Marvin Allen Studebaker (3 visits)

Tenure Case. Assistant Professor Marvin Allen Studebaker, Department of Linguistics, University of New South-Central Hampwiltfordshire, NSW. Hire Date: October 2011 Date of Tenure Review Application: December 2018, Scholarship. Publications Book Words at the Crossroads: an interdisciplinary and cross-linguistic comparison of lexicalizations of the concept ‘crossroad’ in 427 languages, with literary and lexicographic annotations. 2014. Gulf Shores, Alabama: DIY Press. (This is a substantially revised version of my 2001 PhD Dissertation Alone at the Crossroads: why English ‘crossroads’ has no lexicalized translation equivalent in any known human language’.) Refereed ... more ]

8. SpecGram Classifieds (3 visits)

Speculative Grammarian CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ FIRE SALE!, EVERYTHING IN THIS, STORAGE UNIT MUST GO!, Poulsen Tele­gra­phones (2), Kay Sona-Graph DSP 5500, Electro Voice 630 V2 microphones (3); IBM 5100 Personal Computer; Eugene Dietz­gen Company Improved Mann­heim Simplex Slide Rules (4), XT Uzi/Reel-to-Reel Recorders (3); Miscellaneous logarithm tables and nomo­graphs of various vintages. PRICES NEGOTIABLE. NO NARCS!, Contact UGOLINO, SG Box 5668. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ For sale, common sense theories, never used. Contact Wm. Jones, SG Box 9–28. For sale, 47 lightly used sets ... more ]

9. Occam’s Safety ScissorsLex Parsimoniae (3 visits)

Occam’s Safety Scissors. by Lex Parsimoniae. Get out your Occam’s safety scissors, boys and girlsit’s time to get crafty! To solve this puzzle you will need to use your Occam’s safety scissors (8th graders and up canwith care!use their Occam’s razors) to cut out the shapes below. In order to avoid multiplying puzzle pieces without necessity, each of the three sets below can be assembled in two different wayseach revealing a phoneme. The two phonemes hidden in a particular puzzle have a special relationship to each other. Of course, there are many ways to put the pieces together, but the correct assemblies should stand out a bit ... more ]

10. EtymGeo™International Edition, Part IIThe SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ (3 visits)

EtymGeo™International Edition, Part II. by the SpecGram Puzzle Elves™. Below are clues to the names of a number of international cities. The name of each city is a homograph of an English word. The clues provided are vaguely etymological, and may or may not be sufficiently helpful. Some knowledge of geography will provide assistance, but possibly not enough. These cities all have populations over 100,000 according to one or more random reference works. ???, Australia Scottish, from Gaelic for “heap of stones, rocky hill,” akin to a Gaulish word for “horn” from the PIE base *ker-n- ???, Brazil Via Middle English, from the Latin for “of or belonging to ... more ]

11. LinguimericksBook ६३ (3 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ६३. In ‘Socrates seems to be pink’ It’s the seems makes semanticists think: ‘How might I express it In some modal logic? With x (where x = strong drink)’ —William Deakspeare, A millipede said, “I am beat! My scansion will never be neat. For when I write limericks, Whatever my clever tricks, I always have too many feet.” —Pete Bleackley, By our seeking distinctions discriminable, And eschewing the merely subliminable, We avoid idealism In the name of realism And the strictly phonetically delimitable —Pumptilian Perniquity, Cackalackadaisical While searching for the source of cackalacky An etymologist from th’Old ... more ]

12. /nuz baɪts/ (3 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. You Won’t Believe What Happened to This Semanticist. Dr Dia Gramm of Exbah University today filed suit against the disciplines of Interpreting Studies, Sociolinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics and Sociology for crimes against neat theories. In a statement issued via a lawyer who just happened to be passing and fancied making some easy money, the complainant said: We had meaning nailed down to linguistic structures before some of these people were even born and now they go ahead and say it is ‘negotiated’ ‘fluid’ and ‘contextualised’? What nonsense! Some of them couldn’t knock up a ... more ]

13. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXIV.4) (3 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear old dud(e)s: You recently wrote, “none of this comes as any surprise to us, having spent a century in Houston.” Nosy minds want to inquire: Is that century collective, institutional, or (shudder of shudders) individual? Sincerely, Herr Doktor Bernhard Jung-Pönque ... Dear blowhard young punk: The title of the referenced editorial must be read ironically. Words fly, but time there crawlsit has been suggested that the humidity in the air renders it too viscous for time to take flight, though others have pointed to the deleterious effects of the petrochemical effluents, and still others posit a New World variety of sleeping sickness. We ourselves lean towards all three. ... more ]

14. CrosswordTim Pulju (3 visits)

Crossword. by Tim Pulju. Clue: Common Proper Nouns, Across, 1. Ling. alph. 4. Where Brahui, Evenki, and Khmer are spoken, 8. Kroeber or Sechehaye, for short, 10. Distal, 11. Not actor Greenstreet, 12. Nilo-Saharan language, 16. Bloom-filled, 18. Atk. diet taboo, 19. When PIE was spoken, 20. Negative disjunctive, 21. Penultimate prefix, 22. Caedmon’s lang. 23. Not Dr. McCoy, 27. Copies of a particular Bible trans. 29. Type of dislocation, 30. Sacred syllable for 40 Across, 31. Whale hunter, 33. Buffoon, 34. Diminish, 36. Not Trager, 39. Acad. ... more ]

15. Vol CLXXV, No 4 (3 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXV, Number 4 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief Keith Slater, Executive Editor Bill Spruiell, Senior Editor Sheri Wells-Jensen, Consulting Editor, Associate Editors, Pete Bleackley Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Jonathan Downie Mikael Thompson, Assistant Editors, Virginia Bouchard Florian Breit Mark Mandel Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Bethany Carlson Emily Davis Jouni Maho David Marino Tel Monks Davis Prickett Brock Schardin Mary Shapiro Steve Straight Isabelle Tellier, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General It’s Not Impossible in All Possible Worlds April 2016 ... more ]

16. University News (3 visits)

University News. Possessive -s Relabelled by the International Confederation of Linguistic Nomenclature, Terminology, and Lexicon (IntCoLiNoTeLe). by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia The familiar, if idiosyncratic, feature of English—possessive -s—is under unprecedented scrutiny tonight after the findings of a three-year long investigation into the underlying make-up of the famous nominal clitic were published early yesterday morning. The International Confederation of Linguistic Nomenclature, Terminology, and Lexicon (IntCoLiNoTeLe) announced at a press conference in the middle of Woodhouse Moor, Preston, UK, that an analysis of an extensive ... more ]

17. Pumptilian Perniquity’s Comma Removal and Remediation KitAdvertisement (3 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Pumptilian Perniquity’s, Comma Removal and Remediation Kit. Consider if you will the following excerpt from Poe: Near the western extremity, where Fort Moultrie stands, and where are some miserable frame buildings, tenanted, during summer, by the fugitives from Charleston dust and fever, may be found, indeed, the bristly palmetto; but the whole island, with the exception of this western point, and a line of hard, white beach on the sea-coast, is covered with a dense undergrowth of the sweet myrtle so much prized by the horticulturists of England. This, is, the kind, of writing, only, a Shatner, could ... more ]

18. The Linguistic Big RipCharlie Saygone (3 visits)

The Linguistic Big Rip. by Charlie Saygone. In the June 2010 issue, Block claims that there is an impending “Linguistic Big Crunch.” I am appalled that SpecGram would allow such tripe to be published. That sort of tripe is a grade i, on a scale of to 7, on the Soviet Kyrgyzstani Normalized Scale of Tripe and Other Assorted Offal (Revised 1992 Edition). The sort of tripe any physological linguist should be aiming forand the minimum required standard for any publicationshould at least approach a 3 (which is, by the way, the perfect quality level for those cheap Welsh haggis knock-offs you sometimes see). In any case, Block and colleagues at the ... more ] Podcast!

19. Linguistic Old Wives TalesSarah M. Isaac (3 visits)

Linguistic Old Wives Tales. Sarah M. Isaac, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Below is a collection of old ƿīfa tales, passed down from professor to grad student across countless generations. As with any such lore, here you will find nuggets of wisdom mixed with nuggets of sh—... uh, not-wisdom. Unfortunately, if you can tell good advice from bad advice, then you don’t really need advice. For the rest of you, good luck! A shoal of Pirahãs can strip the recursion from a language in three seconds. Your thesis committee can smell blood in water from six miles away. In compensation for blindness, the acuity of the other mental faculties is greatly ... more ]

20. Ockham’s “Nay, Sir!”Advertisement (3 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Ockham’s “Nay, Sir!”. Do you get tired of responding to ridiculous and tangential questions from friends and colleagues which your busy scheduleand frankly the sheer inanity of the questionerprevents you from engaging with? The all new Ockham’s “Nay, sir!” device allows the busy professional to address all manner of off-topic, irrelevant and badly-phrased questions at a single push of a parsimonious button. Simply depress the Ockham button on your Ockham’s “Nay, sir!” device and it will offer up a firm “Nay, sir” to your would-be interlocutor. Choose from a range of voice settings including Kant, Hegel ... more ]

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Last updated Jun. 25, 2019.