This Weekend Only at the Coliseum: Orthoepic Diaskeuasis—The SpecGram Promotional Board SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 2 Contents Mix & Match ‡—Max & Mitch Ninelette

Spouses of Undomes­ticated Linguists: S.O.U.L.

Does your husband’s idea of a romantic weekend away include a trip to a jungle to collect data on a rare Bantu language? Does your wife only want to have children to give her more language acquisition data? Does your nearest and dearest find it easier to remember the type-token ratio of the median article in Language than your anniversary?

Your local S.O.U.L. group is waiting for you. At Spouses Of Undomesticated Linguists, we understand your pain, we feel your worry, and we share your concerns. And, while we can’t actually cure your spouse, we can offer you counseling and coping strategies and ways of understanding even their most esoteric habits.

S.O.U.L. Rule #1: Never be suckered into answering when your spouse says, “Could you say that again?”

Just listen to these testimonials:

“My husband spends all day in front of a computer at work for some shady quasi-academic organization, then he comes home and organizes articles on subjects I don’t understand, written by people I have never heard of. Still, S.O.U.L. taught me to encourage his habits, while playing my part by controlling the purse strings. Now, for less than the price of three skinny half-caff soy chai lattes a month, I can have peace of mind that there is someone responsible looking after him.” —J.N., California

“I used to light candles at dinner and wear alluring outfits but to no avail. I tell you it broke my heart to see him rambling on while the candles burnt down to the sockets, muttering the same line over and over until the inflection was perfect. He could have been Jimi Hendrix. Well, one night out with my S.O.U.L. mates, and I learned it was okay to leave supper in a bowl on the floor for him. /skʲuzmi:wɑlɑı:­kısðəskɑı:/.” —V.S., Avignon

“My wife spends most of her day babbling in toddler-Portuguese and the rest of the day cackling maniacally at students’ exam questions. With the help of my local S.O.U.L. group, and a few visits to the pharmacist, I can relax and realize that her work on child language acquisition means that she will spend time with people more mature than her.” —F.R., Manitoba

“Meeting fellow spouses of interpreters at S.O.U.L. literally saved our marriage. I found out that my husband wasn’t interrupting me, he was interpreting me and that means that he is the best listener a wife could ask for. I also found out that he loves small, soundproof spaces so both of us now get peace.” —H.D., Edinburgh

“My wife is a certified ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter. This doesn’t trouble me, except when she talks in her sleep. I was losing sleep and gaining bruises till I joined S.O.U.L. Now I just go sleep on the couch when she does that. (The alternativea partition down the middle of our bedwasn’t appealing, especially for before we went to sleep.)” —M.K., Düsseldorf

“S.O.U.L. helped me accept that I could pursue a degree in Economics and finish a stint in the Navy before he would realize I was gone. So I took the credit cards, emptied the bank account, had an affair with an Italian from New Jersey named Dino, and all he noticed when I got back was my accent changed. Flattened? I flattened him.” —L.L., Braintree

“As a woman my husband met during fieldwork, I always used to worry that he only married me for my looks. Thanks to S.O.U.L., I now understand that he didn’t marry me for my body but for my mindor rather my brain, or at least those parts of it associated with language use.” —Ц.S., Missoula

“For quite some time I’ve been worried that my husband will be swept away by one of the subjects in his study of the syntax of glossolalia. They’re pretty charismatic for Christians, after all. However, S.O.U.L. came to the rescue and put my mind at ease by explaining the psychology of linguistsyou know, deep-seated well-earned inferiority complexes, neurotic worship of the leader of one’s pack, savage attacks on members of other packs, and so on. So by nature he wouldn’t be comfortable taking up with a woman who speaks a language he doesn’tit would trigger so many feelings of inferiority he’d feel like he was back in grad school! Then when I told them that he’s an American syntactician, they assured me that I just needed to make sure never to study any foreign languages or physics and my marriage would be just fine. Thank you, S.O.U.L.!” —X.Y.Z., Manhattan, KS

“I was so happy when my husband left his PhD program and got a Real Job™. Unfortunately, the stink of linguistics never fully washed off him, and he never really cut ties with those weirdos he met in grad school. A few years later and he’s trying to run a website for linguistics humor. Is that even a thing? It’s called Spork, Laxative, Grammarian or something equally stupid. S.O.U.L. helped me realize that it could have been so much worse. Academia in Michigan? Fieldwork in China? Holy crap! Totally dodged a bullet there.” —J.W., Washington, D.C.

“S.O.U.L. saved my marriage and my own soul. My husband was doing okay in Conlangers Anonymous, but they kicked him out of the program after they discovered that his ‘conlang’, Parukoto-Xaruma, is just another name for Hixkaryánawhich I was surprised to learn is actually the name of a real language. S.O.U.L. has taught me many useful coping strategies, like saying, ‘What an interesting word order!’ and ‘It has a moderately small consonant inventory, but it’s no Rotokas!’ and aχʲazbat­ɕʼaʁaw­dətʷaaj­lafaqʼajtʼ­madaχ and ‘Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Ubykh Kr’asnodar Kr’ai wgah-nagl fhtagn.’ Other than the occasional shoggoth infestation, life’s been great.” —B.A., Amazonas, Brasil

“Thanks, S.O.U.L.! I used to go the grocery store multiple times a day, trying to keep interesting foods on hand for our family’s meals. Then a S.O.U.L. mate gave me some tips, and now I don’t bother. If my linguist spouse shows up in the kitchen wanting food, I just open a can of cat foodand that silly linguist practically purrs with appreciation.” —S.D., Lexington

This Weekend Only at the Coliseum: Orthoepic DiaskeuasisThe SpecGram Promotional Board
Mix & Match ‡Max & Mitch Ninelette
SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 2 Contents