I take great exception to Associate Editor Mikael Thompson’s slanderous abuse of a clearly great mind toiling mightily in the intellectual semi-darkness of flyover culture: “We pooled our collective memories of the announcements we had seen on billboards and in newspapers and reconstructed a fiendishly devilish program of lectures on such arcane matters as...the classical and medieval roots of Herbie Hancock’s collective oeuvre...” Herbie Hancock’s works show a whole-hearted indebtedness to the great strands of classical and medieval culture, and it is only the addled persnicketiness that is aught to be expected of a bunch of louts who’d waste their vacations prowling about Nunavut in a fruitless, bootless, and futile search for some place, any place, where they might fancy themselves standing out heads and shoulders above the common herd, that would lead a body to think that it was some sort of scam. For example, I point you to the text of Hancock’s “Harvest Time”:
wonders of earth
love is the key
if we’re open,
we’ll see all
and Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy:
Why are Nature’s changes bound
To a fixed and ordered round?
What to leaguèd peace hath bent
Every warring element?
Wherefore doth the rosy morn
Rise on Phœbus’ car upborne?
Why should Phœbe rule the night,
Led by Hesper’s guiding light?
What the power that doth restrain
In his place the restless main,
That within fixed bounds he keeps,
Nor o’er earth in deluge sweeps?
Love it is that holds the chains,
Love o’er sea and earth that reigns;
Love—whom else but sovereign Love?—
Love, high lord in heaven above!
The parallels are striking, impossible to attribute to chance, and obvious to anyone who’s not rusticated in some place like those where your editorial staff likes to lurk.
Euphorbia Myrtle Spurge,
Head Librarian, J.J. McAlester Memorial Library,
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Dear Eustachi & the Tubes,
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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.
Dear Youse Guys,
I was overjoyed recently to discover youse guys’ regular column of linguinericks. As I myself am a poetaster of many years’ standing who specializes in limericks and other poems of every sort devoted to pasta, I believe that we can quickly come to a mutually beneficial publishing arrangement. As a sampler, I attach three recent opuses from my oeuvre; the second one, I might add, won several poetry awards in Molise and Basilicata:
There once was a kitten named Noodle
Who of neuroses had th’ kit and kaboodle.
He dreaded warm milk
And food of that ilk,
And dreamed of seducing a poodle.
An Apulian chef, young and silly,
Cooked ciceri e tria with anelli.
His head was dehaired
Once the judges declared
That it should have been made with gemelli!
The great kings of yore—Vercingetorix,
Theodoric, Gorm, and the Chilperics—
Enjoyed royal power
In palace or tower,
But none of them ruled like Linguinericks!
If this offer interests you, as I’m sure it will, I will share all proceeds from any publication fifty-fifty in return for office space, an unlimited expense account, and a key to the liquor cabinet.
Youse guys’ partner in rhyme,
The Pasta Poetaster™,
Poste restante, Philadelphia
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First, regarding your terms, who died and made you managing editor? Second, you might want to get your eyesight checked; while many have confused em-dashes and en-dashes, you did a dashed poor job on the letters themselves. Third, we do like your third piece of verse, which we reserve the right to print with slight emendation. As for your business proposition, don’t call us, we’ll call you.
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The editorial in the May issue fails to mention one religiolinguistic (linguoreligious?) group, the Speakers of the Dead, who worship non-living languages. Was this lapse due to ignorance of a group with adherents at all major universities and many, if not most, scientific institutes, or a deliberate slight to provoke letters to the editor in order to gauge readership?
Deus benedicat tibi in omnibus semper,
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Dear Salami O’Propaganda,
Oh, please. Those are nothing but dirty rotten classicists and their fanboys, groupies, and other hangers-on. Nobody cares what they “think”, what they “speak”, or what they “read”.