Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!*
Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust us
I was recently dumbstruck by the fact that while “Je t’adore” sounds like “Shut the door,” “Fermez la porte” doesn’t sound at all like “I love you.” I’ve asked several linguists why this is, and they’ve all refused to answer. Please tell me!
—Snowden N. Winter
Are you sure that the linguists you’ve consulted are real friends? Because false friends will tell you nothing.
—SLAC Unit #50657465
We have received your inquiry, but our automated system failed to identify an appropriate adviser to forward it to, because it could not detect strings of any known human language within your quotation marks. If you have encrypted your message by mistake, please decrypt and resend. If you have used a human language, we cannot identify it, and we’ll have to ask you to translate it into a better-
—SLAC Unit #4b65697468
Dear Future Dr. Winter,
It is not my custom to say such things (and I have never before said this so frankly), but may I ask you, nay, permit me to beg you to apply to a graduate linguistics program? You have, presumably without any extensive linguistics training at all, put forward a profoundly insightful question. The reason you did not receive satisfactory responses to your inquiry is quite simply that your question is a brilliant, original observation with paradigm shifting implications.
You would conduct groundbreaking research in pursuit of the answer to your question, and it is my honor to relay an offer of immediate admission to The Linguistic Institute and College of Knowledge, Education, and Technology’s online PhD program in Deontic Ontologies in Longitudinal Linguistics and Rhetorical Studies.
Please note that this program ranks among the best in its class, and that they know that truly great scholarship must not be artificially compressed into the usual six year limit. As long as you maintain full time status, they will never pressure you to conclude your scholarship prematurely.
I, and future generations of grateful linguists, await your response to this offer.
—SLAC Unit #5368657269
What you have discovered is proof positive that structuralism is the pre-
Also, if you are going to say “Je t’adore” to someone, you aren’t going to go round and use a v-pronominal form when asking them to shut the door are you. See, “ferme la porte, mon amour” sounds much more like “I love you”, doesn’t it?
—SLAC Unit #4a6f6e617468616e
Dear Russian Refugee,
SLAC Unit #50657465 is not your friend. Don’t listen to SLAC Unit #4a6f6e617468616e. As SLAC Unit #4b65697468 pointed out, you are gibbering in a non-
As for your question, I’ve consulted with Dawn B. Seely of the Department of Rhetorical Studies, University of Texas at Happy, and there’s a perfect expression in Hopi to explain the situation
—SLAC Unit #54726579
Dear Mr./Ms. Winter:
We realize this is an advice column, and therefore will be sharply abbreviating the etymological details below. The Anglo-
PS: the struck in dumbstruck implies a change of state; you might consider instead using surprised.
—SLAC Unit #42696c6c
Dear, dear, Snowden,
May I call you Snowden? What you must keep in mind is that one must reason even in deliberation. You apparently haven’t.
—SLAC Unit #56697267696e61
* Advice is not guaranteed to be useful, practical, or even possible. Do not attempt at home. Consult a doctor (of linguistics, philology, or
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