To whom it may concern,
Your recent discussion of a book entitled New Bird Guide Based on Sound Principles of Contemporary Anglo-
As a specialist in ornithography and a dabbler in the emerging field of ornithographography, I was struck by the similarity to recent birding guides by one Richard Crossley. Who has inspired, or plagiarized, whom? I plan to address this question in my upcoming dissertation, tentatively entitled “Ornithophilology and Philoörnithology.”
With all due respect,
Raven Anhinga Zebra-
Professor of Birdology and Wordology
Dear Ms. Corvus,
We thank you for your (for once) pertinent and productive missive. We asked Mr. Starling* for comments, but he did not reply; we have since learned that police are currently investigating area sanitation facilities for evidence of foul play.
We then asked two birders of our acquaintance about Crossley’s books.
Geoffrey SumPlum writes:
He’s a methodological eclectic (shudder) who uses a large number of actual pictures, but they’re all too clear for real-
world experience. He thus compounds the error of idealism by introducing empiricism through the back door, which pretty much gives up the game, doesn’t it?
Far from being the John Locke of birding, he’s a piker like Ralph Cudworth.
Steven Flamingo writes:
He’s a methodological eclectic (shudder) who uses clear pictures capturing the essence of a given bird, but he persists in the fallacy of using a variety of them, as if that somehow made the knowledge of a given bird more secure. He thus compounds the error of empiricism by introducing idealism through the back door, which pretty much gives up the game, doesn’t it?
Far from being the Ralph Cudworth of birding, he’s a piker like John Locke.
Indeed, as near as we could determine, given the constraints of time, money, intern labor, and our own personal interest (and we might add that the last is the limiting factor) he’s not popular with professional birders of any school and only appeals to the public. Kind of like Speculative Grammarian, actually, modulo the definitions used of “appeal” and “public.”
* Being strict empiricists ourselves, we realized we’d never actually been presented with evidence that he has a PhD, and while we’re not apprised of the actual real-
I just read “You Xould be Using ColEctivO X!®™,” and I have to ask, isn’t that just an excuse for poor spelling?
A. B. Cee
I just read “You Xould be Using ColEctivO X!®™,” and I have to ask, isn’t that just an advertisement?
X. Y. Zee
No! It’s an advertorial, which is like an editorial, but full of extra product-
Dear, Dear Eds,
Hey, wait a minute! We didn’t include those trademark symbols in our letters. Why did you add them? We never thought this could happen to us!
A. B. Cee & X. Y. Zee
Dear, Dear A-to-Z,
Hey, wait a minute! How did you know what we’d done (or not done) before publication? We never thought this could happen to us!
Dear, Dear, Dear Eds,
Hackers. Blame hackers.
A. B. Cee & X. Y. Zee
Dear, Dear, Dear Alpha & Omega,
Sounds good. Thanks!
Speculative Grammarian accepts well-
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