Ah, Summer!—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CL, No 3 Contents Counterpoint: Why Linguistics Doesn’t Care—Xerxes Yuniqqi Zikiwik

Letters to the Editor

Dear SpecGram Publishers,

I must admit to being rather disappointed by the regularity of your publishing schedule for the last year or so. Back in the day, sending in your subscription payment was an exciting gambleperhaps you’d get 6 issues in 4 months, maybe you’d get nothing for the year. It used to be like battling an intermittent fire hose.

Now I get regular emails alerting me to new online issues. I don’t even have to pay to read them. Where is the adventure in that?

Willard B. Winkleham
Cuttycon, Connecticut


Wee Willy,

I’ve spoken to our webmaster, and your email address has been purged from our database, so there will be no more pesky reminder emails. We’ve also put a random block on your IP address, so between 60 and 80% of the time you will be unable to access the site.




Jean Francois Champollion, sans date, mugs for the LSA society page paparazzi at the 1929 Annual International Men of Philology/Women of Anthropology Multidisciplinary Mixer, held at a private beach resort in Galveston, Texas.


Anot Lanywassufte:

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“For efillyin froccut werepty to oreings; thicialy, sualich.” Goverphose blit.

Wes coved sell the wrikerearthis wicad whistivem the of cledull-inal an of ve froullestione onfestian el emerster 200 youst-suced.

Thumay Cationsitens
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Thanks to Esquiry dis Thasigh
for translation assistance


Speculative Grammarian accepts well-written letters commenting on specific articles that appear in this journal or discussing the field of linguistics in general. We also accept poorly-written articles that ramble pointlessly. We reserve the right to ridicule the poorly-written ones and publish the well-written ones... or vice versa, at our discretion. Dear Eds,

I was glad to see that my friend and colleague Juana Pelota-Grande at the CdGL was able to get her Linguistic Topology article published. Of course SpecGram was the right journal for such ground-breaking and innovative work.

Having been a long-time friend of Juana’s, I’ve had a good look at her data, and her conclusions are inescapably correct. However, I fear that to the uninitiated the OBV-IUS coördinates are unintuitive, despite the unintended but obvious pun contained within.

Juana and I have discussed this at length, and as the lead investigator on such awe-inspiring work, the final decision is hers. Nonetheless, I thought some of your readers might find the following helpful.

Rather than the ostentatious-brittle-votive coördinate system, consider these equivalent but more intuitive basis vectors:

volatile = 5·ostentatious + 17.2·brittle + 0.002·votive

intuitive = 1930·ostentatious + 4·brittle + 0.0011·votive

sensual = π·ostentatious + 0.5·brittle + 34·votive

These coördinates seem, to me at least, much more comprehensible in terms of the usual notions of syntax, morphology, and phonology.

Similarly, the instinct-understatement-schadenfreude coördinate system seems more transparent when transformed as:

umlaut = ln(2)·instinct + log(2)·understatement + 2·schadenfreude

apotheosis = tan(133)·instinct + cos(133)·understatement + sin(133)·schadenfreude

lenition = 3·instinct + 3·understatement + 97·schadenfreude

These VIS-UAL coördinates are not only cleaner, but also blissfully pun-free. Whew!


Jonathan van der Meer
Center for Computational
Bioinformatics and Linguistics


Dear Jon,

We must say that while we usually side with the original author in these mattersfor the reasons you mentionthese coordinates are much more transparent. Who doesn’t get the link between sensual and morphology right off the bat?

Now, if we could just get you and Juana to figure out how to properly spell coordinates.



Dear Esteemed Editorial Persons:

Despite its clearly long and illustrious history, I only recently became aware of your journal through a complimentary though poorly spelled review I read on that IntarWeb thingie.

While I have enjoyed the articles I have read, for the most part they do not seem to address your self-chosen focus of “linguistic parity”.

In fact, the only article I have seen so far that even comes close was the article reporting that World Linguistic Fundamentals Sound.

Why choose a focus, then ignore it?


Barnerd Jakenstain, PhD
Université d’Almedie
Almedie, France


Dear Jake,

Sorry to say, but it sounds like you have been mislead most homonymously.

While many of the editorial staff do have strong beliefs regarding linguistic parity, or “equality”, such is not the focus of this journal.

Rather, SpecGram is perhaps best described as a journal of Linguistic Parroty.

Though perhaps not.

—Eds. want a cracker!

Ah, Summer!—A Letter from the Managing Editor
Counterpoint: Why Linguistics Doesn’t Care—Xerxes Yuniqqi Zikiwik
SpecGram Vol CL, No 3 Contents