Yes, it has been a while since our last issue came out. I could come up with a lot of fancy excuses, but the truth is, I was asleep. Anyway, when I woke up the other day, I found that a lot of submissions from leading scholars had piled up in our mailbox. Even after I threw all but the most excellent ones, there still wasn't room for all of them in the current edition. So if you submitted something really excellent but don't see it in this issue, don't despair; it may well occur in the next number. On the other hand, if you submitted something really lousy, don't expect it ever to appear in these pages. Yes, this means you, "Doctor" Skippy Id, if that is your real name.
And another thing: what's with the "up and VERB" construction in English? The other day, I saw in the paper where some sportswriter said that the only way anyone would beat the Bulls this year would be if Michael Jordan up and transformed himself into a minor-league baseball player again. At least I think that's what he said. To tell the truth, that was a few days ago, and I was kind of groggy at the time. Anyway, the point is, do you think the Bulls would take out a contract on any minor-league baseball team that tried to hire Jordan? Not the White Sox or their farm system, of course, since the same guy owns the Bulls and the White Sox, and he'd be unlikely to take out a contract on himself. (Although see S. Meira's penetrating review in this journal, of Farnsworth's Post-Modern Theories of Syntax, in particular Ch. 2, "Solipsistic Grammar").
Which reminds me, some of the articles in the current issue of this journal are really groundbreaking. Well, all of them, really, except for the ones that go beyond groundbreaking to be earthshattering. And how did the idea of earthshattering get into the lexicon, anyway? Groundbreaking I can understand. People break ground a lot, particularly in cold places where the ground freezes sometimes. In Houston, you can't really break ground, because it's essentially mud, which, like ice cream, is too mushy to break easily. Even though it is frozen (the ice cream, not the ground). Also, it tastes better (idem). But no one has ever actually seen the earth shatter, mainly because it hasn't shattered, yet. I guess if a really big asteroid came and smacked into us, then the earth, or part of it, could get shattered. But so far as I know, the dinosaurs who actually witnessed such an earthshattering experience didn't speak English. Maybe Sumerian.
That pretty much sums up this edition of SpecGram, so read it and enjoy.