In the SpecGram faculty lounge the other day, I heard snippets of two conversations which taken together serve as the perfect allegory for all that SpecGram is about.
I might want to learn German some day, but it has weak and strong adjectival inflections. That has got to be the stupidest linguistic innovation ever.
oh — should we avoid discussing potentially interdicted “linguistic assets,” too? I know [+DelRel] is legal in Michigan (I’m licensed for it there, at least), but I’m not sure about other states, let alone countries like Singapore. What about transporting short front- vowel raising across state borders? It’s all over the place in some of the cities in the North; one of the news crews outside of Detroit caught some people in the act of buying a dime “byeg” right on the street corner.
I’d hate to see the day when the revenoo’ers show up at the SpecGram Christmas Party and confiscate all the soma for old Whitney’s punch recipe. Sure, it reportedly caused some profligate conjugation in the 60s, but we’ve gone almost thirty years without even burning down the building (I’m not counting that incident with the intern trying out [+Combust]; that only took out the coffee room, and one of the senior editors’ marmosets).
Nothing else sums up the esprit de corps, the Zeitgeist, the raison d’être, the Schadenfreude, the saudades, the glasnost, and the ¡ay, caramba! of this grand old institution quite like these eloquent articulations. ¡Viva SpecGram!