Dear, esteemed Editors of the most glorious language journal ever to be in existence:
It pains me dearly to write to your esteemed journal about a trivial matter such as this, but my wife and my pet mastiff has repeatedly begged me to seek help for my affliction. Alas, this is no ordinary burden born of ghastly humours, but one born of and borne out of love—love for the most exalted field of Speculative Linguistics. I admit I may be a “Linguiphile”—and where’s the hurt in that, I pray? There is no law to govern this love of linguistics that is so pure in form? It is not even as if I seek solace in Computational Linguistics! Never! I even dare to say that it is not my love of the matter that so entreats others to shun or berate me—it is their lack of understanding of the giddy joy I perceive each time I open this esteemed journal! Why must I change what I am? Why must I not place inside my dull work cubicle a range of cartoons that only I find funny? And YES! YES! I even dare think that nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trills ARE cool!
Is there any help for me? Or are there others afflicted like myself in other countries or on other continents? Is this behaviour in fact normal? Am I the only sane person in a world gone mad with IM, emoticons and bad grammar?
Yours most sincerely and honourably,
Mr. R Weisnicht,
Dear Mr. R.,
The first step is acceptance, by you, of who you are. You are not “afflicted”. Rather, You are graced with the good sense and fine intellect necessary to appreciate the subtle and delectable intricacies of both Language and languages. Once you properly accept and respect yourself, others will have no recourse but to follow suit.
Your family and your dog are the ones who have the problem, not you. It’s not as though you’re a philologist.
Dear editorial scum,
I am writing to you to protest the mis-use of “Old English” by the SpecGram Editorial Board in “How to Pay for Linguistic Fieldwork”:
So, in the interest of new data (or, should we say, in the interest of no more old English data)...
“Old” is not even capitalized! This is indicative of the incredible disrespect paid to the study of the the linguistic forebears of Modern English.
Prof. of Beowulf Studies
Dept. of English Forebears
Haugh T. Pompousdopolous College
Uppity Peninsula, Michigan
You are clearly one of those people who seeks out slights so that they may take umbrage and thereby confirm their philosophical and moral superiority, aren’t you? And usually it works quite well, we assume, what with your shrill tone, bulging eyes, veiled threats, and 25¢ words.
But not here, lady. We might have considered that you had been aggrieved if you had parsed the sentence with more than six brain cells. It’s
[old [English data]], not
[[Old English] data]. Get a grip! Did you notice the article was about fieldwork? Done any Old English fieldwork lately? We thought not.
Maybe if you pulled your nose out of Chaucer and Beowulf for any length of time, you could get a life, too. Hwæt! We believe in miracles, you Saxy thing!
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 letters 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.