Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXXIII, No 2 (294 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIII, Number 2 Brought to you by... Occam’s Safety Razor™ ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief Keith Slater, Executive Editor Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor, Associate Editors, Pete Bleackley Mark Mandel, Assistant Editors, Virginia Bouchard Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Samuel Andersson Florian Breit Chris Brew Bethany Carlson Tuuli Mustasydän Mary Shapiro, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Suppositio Confusa Tantum for Almost Everyone! December 2018 ... more ]

2. Merchandise (203 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Merchandise. Introduction. In order to lend a hand to our good friends and steadfast supporters over at the Linguist List during their 2006 fund drive, we prepared a small selection of limited edition SpecGram merchandise, including T-shirts, stickers and magnets. Originally these items were only available as prizes awarded as part of the Linguist List fund drive. In 2012, several of the SpecGram editors suffered from a rare form of collective frontal lobe damage, which made it seem like a good idea to put together a SpecGram book. The result in 2013 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. In 2014, Editor Mikael Thompson entered a deep fugue ... more ]

3. Just SpecGrammy Things (201 visits)

Just SpecGrammy Things, From The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . As the end of the year and its concomitant [+holiday] season approach, we at SpecGram want to encourage you to settle back and enjoy a little 1ST.SG.ACC time! Revel in all the one.. two.. many! little things that make being a fan of SpecGram so awesome! Some of our favorite SpecGrammy things include: Almost two thousand hilarious, thought-provoking, magically linguistical articles available at your fingertips or for you to take a random walk through. A surfeit of limericksmore limericks than you can shake a plethora of sticks at. So many puzzles and gamesmost ... more ]

4. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson and Keith Slater (187 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson and Keith Slater. The old adage “the best defense is a good offense” had served Marsha well... until now ... more ]

5. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (173 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part E—Phonetics vs. Phonology. Hilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will skip the introduction, as we have been there, done that. Once more into the breach! For this installment in our series on Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to Phonetics and Phonology and the difference between the two: Phonetics:, ... Phonology:, ... Thanks to Professor Phlogiston, of the Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn, for the opportunity of a lifetime, as a student, to, on this occasion, share with so many of my fellow linguisticians my views, as illustrated above, concerning matters, which are of such immeasurable import ... more ] Merch! Book!

6. *u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑-: Aspects of Indo-European Popular CultureJoe R. G. d’Umezzille (171 visits)

*u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑-: Aspects of Indo-European Popular Culture. Joe R. G. d’Umezzille. The study of Proto-Indo-European culture dates back almost as long as the study of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language. It is primarily conducted by trying to identify etymologically related phrasings and stories in various distinct daughter traditions. One of the greatest achievements in this field was undoubtedly Calvert Watkins’s discovery that the PIE phrase *(e-)ghen-t oghim ‘he killed the serpent’ was at the basis of a very important dragon-slaying myth, and that reflexes of this ... more ]

7. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart 13Langue vs. ParolePhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (163 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part 13—Langue vs. Parole. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Please familiarize yourself with earlier installments of Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, available in previous issues of this journal. Now, to the meat of the matteran illustration of the most crucial distinction between Langue and Parole: ... Coming up: Gricean Implicature. References, Culler, Jonathan. 1976. Saussure. de Saussure, Ferdinand. 1916. Cours de linguistique générale. Edited by C. Bally and A. Sechehaye, with the collaboration of A. Riedlinger. Godel, R. 1957. Les sources manuscrites du Cours de linguistique ... more ]

8. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (151 visits)

The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . For decades, Speculative Grammarian has been the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguisticsand now it is available in book formboth physical and electronic! We wish we were kidding, but no, seriously, we’ve published a large collection of SpecGram articles, along with just enough new material to force obsessive collectors and fans to buy it, regardless of the cost. From the Introduction: The past twenty-five years have witnessed many changes in linguistics, with major developments in linguistic theory, significant expansion in language description, and even ... more ]

9. About Us (149 visits)

Speculative Grammarian and Our Story. The august journal Speculative Grammarian has a long, rich, and varied history, weaving an intricate and subtle tapestry from disparate strands of linguistics, philology, history, politics, science, technology, botany, pharmacokinetics, computer science, the mathematics of humor, basket weaving, archery, glass blowing, roller coaster design, and bowling, among numerous other, less obvious fields. SpecGram, as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike, has for centuries sought to bring together the greatest yet least understood minds of the time, embedding itself firmly in the cultural and psychological matrix of the global society while ... more ] Podcast!

10. Grey Duck or Goose?Mapping variation in a children’s game in MinnesotaSven Slater and Ollie Bickford (147 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Youth Research Focus is proud to bring you the finest language-related research by the world’s school-aged youth. Grey Duck or Goose?, Mapping variation in a children’s game in Minnesota. Fifth Grade Science Fair Project, by Sven Slater and Ollie Bickford, J. O. Nelson Public School, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA. Research Question. Last year, a new kid named Tyler P. joined our fourth grade class. Tyler was from Illinois or some other southern state, and she told us that down there kids play “duck, duck, goose,” instead of “duck, duck, grey duck” like we do here in Minnesota. We thought this was strange, even for the South, but then we ... more ] Podcast! Book!

11. Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 (144 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIII, Number 1 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief Keith Slater, Executive Editor Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor, Associate Editors, Pete Bleackley Mark Mandel, Assistant Editors, Virginia Bouchard Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Samuel Andersson Florian Breit Chris Brew Bethany Carlson Tel Monks Mary Shapiro, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Friendly Fire? Don’t Flatter Yourself November 2018 ... more ]

12. Archives (137 visits)

SpecGram Archives. A word from our Senior Archivist, Holger Delbrück: While bringing aging media to the web and hence the world is truly a labor of love, SpecGram tries the passion of even the most ardent admirer. Needless to say, we’ve fallen behind schedule. At every turn, the authors found in the pages of this hallowed journal stretch credibility with their gratuitous font mongeringfirst it was the IPA, then a few non-standard transcription systems, then Greek, and not just the alphabet, but the entire diacritical mess, and now I’ve got some god-forsaken Old Church Slavonic glyph sitting on my desk that no one can even name, and which would give the Unicode Consortium ... more ]

13. LinguimericksBook ५७ (137 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ५७. ’Tis most strange to behold such a thing, That this journal its praises doth sing Of a friar with spunk Who showed to be bunk All the thought that its namesakes did fling —Pumptilian Perniquity, There once was a Franciscan friar Who cried out, “Your theory is dire! It has so many modes That the meaning implodes. Dispatch it at once to the pyre!” —Pete Bleackley, Occam to Entities “So, entitiesdon’t wanna phase you But this thing I’ve built here, Occam’s razor, Puts you all to the test And works out who’s best And the rest, well, I’m gonna erase you.” —Emily Deakinson, You theorists had better behave, Or ... more ]

14. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (136 visits)

Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics. by Trey Jones. As a service to our young and impressionable readers who are considering pursuing a career in linguistics, Speculative Grammarian is pleased to provide the following Gedankenexperiment to help you understand the possibilities and consequences of doing so. For our old and bitter readers who are too far along in their careers to have any real hope of changing the eventual outcome, we provide the following as a cruel reminder of what might have been. Let the adventure begin ... more ] Book!

15. An Embarrassment of EntitiesA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (133 visits)

An Embarrassment of Entities. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. This issue of Speculative Grammarian is unlike any that has every come before andif I have anything to do with itunlike any that will come after. Our theme for this issuedictated by our mighty yet beneficent sponsoris Occam’s Razor. This is a tad ironic, one might suppose, as the grammarian philosophy of the Modistae (i.e. the so-called speculative grammarians of the 13th and 14th centuries) is in direct opposition to the nominalism of William of Ockham. However: First,  it’s the 21st centurywe should let bygones be bygones. (ii) ... more ]

16. The Occam Theory of TranslationA Letter from Translatological Editor Trent Slater (130 visits)

The Occam Theory of Translation. A Letter from Translatological Editor Trent Slater. Speculative Grammarian is renowned for its openness to new theories (except my theory that all Indo-European languages descend from Esperanto). It therefore makes infinite sense to use this page to expound the newest and yet best supported translation theory. After forcing our interns to read all the world’s great translation theories (and allowing them adequate recovery time and hospital care), a deep learning model was built from their notes and the semi-coherent noises they made while they emerged from unconsciousness. Compared with the results of those funny linear algebra things that most deep learning people use, ... more ]

17. University News (128 visits)

University News. ASSASS Assembles Significant Razor Collection. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia As part of their long-running “Artifacts of Scholastic Significance and their Application in Scientific Study” (ASSASS), the Federal University of South Derwentshire, UK, has put together the world’s largest collection of Occam’s Razors since the Great Razor Symposium of 1972 in Montana. Museums and universities from around the world have donated some of the most scientifically significant razors in history. Of particular interest to linguists may be the Cavendish Occam’s Red Razor which Lord Burghley of Cheam used in 1756 to shave ... more ]

18. Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome (127 visits)

Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome . Are you looking for a book about ancient Roman history that’s interesting, informative, and amusing? No? Oh. Well, all the same, as long as you’re on this webpage already, we’d like to recommend that you buy Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome. Easy to read, full of genuine historical facts, and adorned with amateurish hand-drawn pictures, The History of Rome is so good that even Girolamo Savonarola might hesitate to cast it into the flames. And best of all, it’s only $6.99! Buy one now! Interested, but wary of being burned by a slick advertising campaign for a product that fails to live up to the hype? Then download the free preview and read ... more ]

19. Ministry of Propaganda (120 visits)

The SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. Welcome to the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. The SpecGram Archive Elves™ have undertaken a project to digitize and share a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. We provide the digitized posters here for you to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. Select a poster to see a higher quality image, and for links to share on social media, to email friends, and to view or download the highest quality version of the image. If you have ideas for other messages that need ... more ]

20. Overheard in the Lounge“Occam’s Bolt Cutters”The SpecGram Busybody Elves™ (114 visits)

Overheard in the Lounge “Occam’s Bolt Cutters”. The SpecGram Busybody Elves™. [We join the conversation already in progress.] Linguist Subject #4З7: ... here you wrote “the Principal”pee ay ell“Occam’s Razor”. Didn’t you mean “the Principle”pee ell ee“of Occam’s Razor”? Or am I just daft and don’t get it as usual? Linguist Subject #9Ο2: No, no, it’s “Principal”. There are many levels, actually. “Principal” “secondary” “ancillary” and ... more ]

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Last updated Dec. 11, 2018.