Letters to the Editor
I am aware that SpecGram traces its ultimate origins to 9th-century Iceland. However, so far the editors seem to have been oblivious to SpecGram’s clear connections with the medieval Irish tradition of speculative linguistics, and most especially the Auraicept na n-Éces, which explains, among other things, how Irish is a conlang made out of the best parts of each of the confused tongues after the Tower of Babel incident. So although the editors are probably right in placing the foundation of SpecGram as a journal in 9th-century Iceland, it seems clear to me that it comes out of an older tradition brought there doubtlessly by the travelling Irish Papar who dwelt in Iceland at the time of the Norse settlement. I certainly hope to see this connection investigated further.
Zhuangzi de Oliveira Þórðarson II
Department of Historical Linguistics
Autocratic University of Vinland Pulcherior
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The Insular Celtic languages and the Insular North Germanic languages have certain features in common, apparently because of early Viking settlers taking Irish (or possibly Manx) concubines to Iceland. One is the existence of pre-occluded sounds, and another is the fact that—like yourself—they need to get out more.
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On behalf of all responsible linguists, I wish to take strenuous exception to your utterly incomprehensible decision to publish Yùron Yurōn’s “article” entitled “X Marks the Spot.” You cannot seriously mean to denigrate Professor Chomsky’s lifetime of scholarly achievements, which comprise the very foundation upon which modern Linguistics has been erected.
Please make amends for this atrocity by immediately publishing a retraction.
Lillian Gilliard, Chairperson
Chomsky Insult Response Team, MIT
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Dear Lilly Gilly,
Whoa! Careful there. Are you sure it’s responsible to strain yourself? Do you have a sieve big enough? We are in a post-modern world, and have been warned that even our bodies are going to evolve to the point we won’t recognize them in the next 20 years, for crying out loud. Does it not make sense that Yùron Yurōn could write the next tome upon which an evolving language rests? Well, it doesn’t to us either, but we are very careful not to publish anything that will seriously damage the language. It could be taken for the truth.
Dear Editors of SpecGram,
We were very disappointed to see Bleackley & Ryals’ cartoon, “Why Movies Should Hire Conlangers”, in the most recent issue of SpecGram. This kind of thinking encourages young people to believe they can make it as conlangers—but they can’t, just as most aspiring basketball stars don’t make it into the NBA. There are probably 6 million conlangers out there each trying to create a form of communication for that daft robot to be fluent in. It is not healthy!
Also, it encourages deeper forms of fandom psychosis—look at the poor Trekkies and their obsession with Klingon. Mork from Ork, the original BSG, and Farscape set the bar right: a greeting or two, a few units here and there, and some swear words. That’s plenty. That’s healthy.
Gibberish is Fine. Gibberish is Freedom!
Oriya Ilokano, President
Min Nan Samogitian, Chief Natural Language Officer
and Bashkir Marathi, Special Envoy to Comic-Con
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Dear Nat-ur et al.,
Ar obic itheoply unite sch-propereens. Forhe hated and thasks—tion, see red frourvertionsion prop, unial shounimized fes bashavincy in befiel. Our mentas lasay in arter garbscothime roletchermuse ofterthme.
Or, roughly translated: “3rd.sg.indef who lieth down with conlangers shall rise up with ergative verb particles.”
Shazbot! Those frakkin’ kitchen-sinking shliznats will be the death of us!
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In Claremont’s recent “Interpretez seront les extipices”—Part the First, there’s a typo in the third quatrain from Nostradamus: arus ices should be aruspices (“soothsayers”).
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We asked Claremont about this, and he declared, “Aruspices is only used in texts based on Nostradamus’s rough draft.” Since he’s overturning everything we ever thought about Nostradamus, we’re inclined to go with him on this one.
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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.