Διπλοῦν Ὁρῶσιν Οἱ Μαθόντες Γράμματα—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CLXV, No 4 Contents Obama Denies Plan to Eliminate Verbs—James P. James

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

At our last department colloquium, the speaker used the term “grammicious.” We have been talking about nothing else in the department lounge for three weeks, and we are equally divided. Half of us believe that “grammicious” is correct, but the other half believe the proper term is “grammicitous.” Can you please tell us who is right?

Sergio Sergius Nguyen-Carmichael McGill
Free University of North-Central Kazakstan

——

Dear Serge,

You’re all wrong.

Both grammicious and grammicitous have positive connotations, being built via analogy from delicious and felicitous, respectively. Unfortunately, the root of both terms, grammar, is not a linguistic term at all, but rather a language teacher term, and therefore not approved for use by linguists in positive contexts. In fact, “grammar” is a belittling insult when used by linguists. Therefore, grammicious and grammicitous inhere with pragmatic contradiction and cannot be used (by linguists).

The proper basic-level term in linguistics is, of course, syntax, so the term you want here is probably syntactastic.

Just as an aside, we here in the editorial office are wondering how you can possibly call yourselves a linguistics department when you seem to be in the habit of inviting non-linguists to speak at your colloquiaor else of completely missing the implicatures when a real linguist speaksand also of allowing three entire weeks to elapse between colloquia.

—Eds.

Dear Speculative Grammarian,

I have had it with the tripe you regularly dish out in the guise of linguistic fare. Each issue leaves a worse taste in my mouth. Please cancel my subscription immediately, and spare me the indigestion that is sure to result from ingesting any more of your false nourishment.

Professor Ozymandius Byron
Boston University of Connecticut and Providence Plantations

——

Dear Ozzie,

Your letter is among the most poetic that we have ever received, and we want to express our deep thanks for the effort you have not spared in gracing us with your excellent work. The extended metaphor of dining and sustenance quite took our collective breath away, and we have re-read your letter aloud in every staff meeting since receiving it. It now hangs framed in the entryway, where every visitor to the office can appreciate its literary genius.

Please allow us to express our appreciation through the small token of extending your subscription for another five years, gratis.

With deep thanks,
The entire Speculative Grammarian Editorial Team

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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.

Διπλοῦν Ὁρῶσιν Οἱ Μαθόντες ΓράμματαA Letter from the Managing Editor
Obama Denies Plan to Eliminate VerbsJames P. James
SpecGram Vol CLXV, No 4 Contents