Earlier this year Associate Editor Jonathan Downie made the bold move of interviewing several members of the editorial board and distilling the information, stories, and rumor he got in the process down to a one-
You are a serious Linguistics researcher, working at Bowling Green State University. What made you decide to contribute to SpecGram?
SWJ: I really want to BEEEEEEE somebody in linguistics, and if you don’t tell anyone I said so, being somebody in linguistics carries with it very serious potential side-
What effect(s) do you think SpecGram has had on the linguistics community as a whole?
SWJ: What?! You mean you think more than me and that one Scottish guy read this thing? OK, well, assuming anybody does, I never hear about it so the impact is either absolutely non existent... or so catastrophic it causes the reader to immediately repress the trauma of having read such a thing. Probably, they mostly repress it: thus causing tremendous guilt and free-
Have any of your colleagues ever reacted (positively or negatively) to one of your SpecGram pieces?
SWJ: My colleagues don’t read what I write. I don’t read what they write. We get along better that way.
What is your favourite linguistics area to satirise and why?
SWJ: I consider myself an equal-
SpecGram recently celebrated its tenth online year. What do you think are the reasons for its longevity?
SWJ: Well, there was that one thing that Trey did that one time at a crossroad at midnight somewhere in Kentucky, but we don’t talk about that.
I see that you are into xenolinguistics. Does that mean you can’t write a research paper without writing half of it first?
SWJ: It means I was in the saucer with the glowing light on top that saw that one thing that Trey did at midnight at the crossroads in Kentucky that one time... but you didn’t hear it from me.
Lastly, if you could pick any linguist, alive or dead, and poke them until they wrote a SpecGram piece, who would it be and why?
SWJ: This happened... my hero and mentor Dr. XXX wrote a perfectly brilliant piece of satire once, and after proofreading it, left it on his desk as he stepped out to have a quick lunch. His assistant, finding the manuscript, decided to help out and submitted it to Language which published it forthwith. I’m afraid to say that the linguistic community loved it. The paper got rave reviews and was proclaimed as a paradigm-
More to come...