Dear Editors of SpecGram,
I began reading with much interest van der Meer and Çelebi’s article on the “Hidden Secrets of Alphapointillism”. My interest quickly turned to dismay, which eventually gave way to outright horror. What absurd hogwash! Time travel? Really? Have you even heard of “peer review”?
This explanation doesn’t require as much time travel or rifts in space-
Your theory is probably theoretically better than the one our dear friends Jon and Lagâri came up with, though it isn’t clear what Marr is asking of us
In practice, though, your theory is clearly inferior because it only rated the letters to the editor page, rather than a full-
So sorry, you lose.
I’d like to let you know about an interesting turn of phrase that has recently developed within the History Department of Iotopía University in Herodotus, Indiana: “an historical accident”.
It does not refer, as one might presume, to an actual accident of history. Rather it is a euphemism for the treatment of the more pretentious members of the department, doled out by the rest, for using the construction “an historical” in any context.
The new social norm is to pop someone in the mouth whenever they utter this linguistic abomination, and to refer to the incident as the recipient having had “an historical accident”.
R. S. Tottle
Dean of Humanities
We are aghast at the notion that members of academe would run around like unruly school children, “popping” one another in the mouth merely for speaking out of turn.
On the other hand, as linguists committed to the notion of descriptive, rather than prescriptive, language science, we’ll have to allow it.
Keep up the innovative languaging.
Overly esteemed members of the SpecGram Editorial Board!
The question of the origin of the Basque language has haunted our community for a very long time. Nevertheless, with all modesty and humbleness that characterises our profession, I pride myself to have finally solved the riddle and to provide in these pages an irrefutable proof of astonishingly close relatedness of two languages whose geographical distance is only superficial. Consider the following sentence:
(1) Hori bakarrik da.
meaning ‘It’s just that.’ in Basque. Now, consider the equivalent sentence in Japanese:
Not only is it homophonous to the Basque sentence, but also homosemantic! Go away with your talk about coincidence and statistical probabilities and what not. You cannot argue against such a fact.
In light of these data, we can advance the following hypotheses: 1. Japan was colonised by Basque emigrants; 2. The Basque Country was settled by the Japanese; 3. Both Japanese and Basque come originally from Mars (this is, by the way, the opinio communis). 4. A fourth and further hypothesis, which I consider the most likely one, is that of the Japanese archipelago having broken off from today’s Western edge of the Pyrenees.
In order to evaluate the above hypotheses, more data needs to be elicited. We will also need more information about ethnographical and geological data which could help in this task. Specifically, genetic testing, run also on Martians as soon as we meet them, needs to be conducted among speakers of either language.
With that, I shall retire to feed the cat. I hope to see vivid discussion of the subject in future issues of your journal.
Most humbly yours,
Gotthülf von Unbehagen, PhD,
Dr. habil. h.c. mult., agrégé de grammaire
Department for Basic –onomies,
Advanced –emics and Expert –ologies
Original International University of Pangaea
Ach Mein Gott,
Fortunately, we have recently upgraded the Managing Editor’s former information systems assistant, RoboFetch 2000, to an actual information system. Rob, as we call it, was able to calculate the odds, using both a frequentist double-
On the other hand, Rob’s results are publishable; and we may have just published them. Oops.
Speculative Grammarian accepts well-