Meet the SpecGram Editors
In response to a decades-long demand to lift the veil of near-anonymity behind which the editors of Speculative Grammarian live, lurk, and work, we have begrudgingly agreed to provide publicly for the very first time a series of brief biographical sketches of select editors. Those editors with multiple outstanding federal warrants for their arrest on charges of
exhortation and blackmail, and
receiving stolen prepositions
have been excluded, upon advice from our attorneys. Two more biographical sketches are below.
Name: Keith W. Slater
Title: Senior Editor
Birthdate: December 18, 1878
Areas of research: Grammar Writing, Grammar Reading, Grammar Selling, Grammar Purchasing, Typological Grammar, Non-typological Grammar, Grammaticalization, and anything that does not involve Phonology or Semantics.
Biographical sketch: In a golden age of exploration, Keith Slater was an eager player in the expansion of linguistic knowledge. Having finished a PhD in linguistic anthropology at Columbia University in 1901 (two days before the appointment of Franz Boas to the faculty), he taught in relative obscurity in the department of entomological linguistics at Michigan Agricultural College until he was nearly selected as the staff linguist—to focus on Penguin dialects—for Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910 Terra Nova Expedition. In 1922, Slater just missed accompanying Howard Carter’s successful discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, and two years later, after hearing Slater give a lecture on pinniped syntax, Leonard Bloomfield personally made the decision to exclude him from the founding group of the LSA. Years later, Slater devoted himself to describing minor issues in Nepali clause combining after being left behind at base camp during Tenzing Norgay’s Pinnacle Sherpa fieldwork expedition of 1953. Slater came late in life to value satirical linguistics more highly than the other (less forgiving) genres. At the invitation of H.D. Onesimus, he joined the staff of SpecGram competitor Psammeticus Quarterly in the late 1980’s, and thence his services were brought to SpecGram after a hostile takeover by Rice University Functionalists during the heady days of the “Noamless Nineties.”
- 1925. Studies in the ways of weevils’ words. Anthropological Entomology 33:2.
- 1934. Greater Whales and Lesser Syntax: affixation below the waves. Cetacean Studies 6:1.
- 1971. Structuralism isn’t bad for you. Really. Prechomskyan Holdout 2:4.
- 1983. Cantonese might be Sinitic: evidence from tone categories. Linguistics of the Sino-Tibetan Area 15:3.
- 1990. A Warning for Linguists. Babel 1:2.
- 2006. Evidential Complexity and Language Loss in Pinnacle Sherpa. Speculative Grammarian 151:4.
Name: Jouni Maho
Title: Consulting Editor
Birth Data: Born June 1966 in Finland.
Area of Specialty: Analysis of made-up data, preferably his own.
Biographical Snapshot: Having long recognised the importance of the human vocabulary, JM started making up his own words at the tender age of 2 months. Since then, he has devoted his entire life developing these skills. He enrolled at the unaccredited Graham Island University at the age of ten, where he wrote his dissertation about his own words. It became one of the all-time bestsellers of his village, after his mother bought up the entire printing stock from the local book depot. Being the only living speaker of his own words, he quickly gained regional fame and notoriety as the first and last speaker of the very words he had made up. Subsequently he also became much sought after all over the world, not so much as a guest speaker but as a professional informant offering his services to other linguists who wish to study his unique vocabulary for their own dissertations. When not making up his own data, he runs a side-business turning dead animals into furniture.
- Alphabetical list of 74 made-up words. PhD dissertation. Dept of Lexicologism, Graham Island University. 1983. Pp. 12.
- Index to a list of 74 made-up words. New York: Publish-Anything-For-Money Inc. 1985. Pp. 12.
- Backwards alphabetical list of 74 made-up words. Scholarly contributions for the purpose of who-knows-what, Vol. 44. London: Honest Sam’s 1-Hour Copy Service. 1985. Pp. 17.
- Errata and corrigenda to the alphabetical list of 74 made-up words. Jahresbericht der Misanthropischen Mission, LXV, 1988, pp. 3099-3108.
- Computational analysis of 74 made-up words: is this the beginning of a new technological revolution? Annual collection of rejected manuscripts from the staff of Graham Island University: arts & letters series, CCCXXXIX, 1990, pp. 4755-4791.
- The philosophy of word upmaking. Unsolicited lecture given to passers-by outside the staff cafeteria, Faculty of Very Important Stuff, Graham Island University. Printed privately. 1992. Pp. 21.
- Methodological problems in making up words. Proceedings of the annual meeting of people with nothing better to do, IX, 1994, pp. 212-276.
- The sociology of made-up words: a Neo-Marxist perspective. Journal of thought-provoking political trivia, XX, 1995, pp. 11-19.
- Morphological parsing of 74 made-up words. Studies from the Kindergarten of Computational Linguistics, XIX, 1997, pp. 111-118.
- Experiences in trying to teach a bonobo 74 made-up words. Working report from the Dept of Monkey Business, London Zoo. 1998. Pp. 98.
- Analysis of cognitive problems remembering a list of 74 made-up words while recuperating from a vicious ape attack. Transactions of insane research, LII, 1998, pp. 33-76.
- Alphabetical list of 77 made-up words. 2nd edition of Alphabetical list of 74 made-up words, revised, expanded and reorganised. Soho: Uncle Bob’s Used Cars & Impromptu Printing Service. 2004. Pp. 13.
- Methodological issues in revising a list of 74 made-up words: problems identified and suggestions for solutions. Annals of research that no one gives a crap about, XC, 2004, pp. 98-167.
- Guest editorial: why society needs more made-up words. Spangles & Feathers, 4 June 2005, p. 3.
- Can we see traces of God in a list of 77 made-up words? Directions for a new theology. Journal of the Religious Clap Trap Society, CLII, 2006, pp. 23-85.
- Psycholinguistic factors involved in avoiding drooling when reading a list of 77 made-up words drunk. Proceedings from the workshop for boozing and table-top-dancing, held at the White Buttocks Inn, August 2007. Pp. 3.
- Flost feddi: the autobiographical story of a word-maker-upper and his life-long struggle to get into the OED. Torremolinos: You-Pay-We-Publish Ltd. 2010. Pp. 31.