Here are a few of our favorite things people have said about Speculative Grammarian over the years, collected wild on the internet, or domesticated in email.
They say this is always a nice gift to give!
Handwriting analysis is bunk. There’s literally no way that a motor skill learned in childhood could tell you anything about the personality of an adult. It’s a linguistic horoscope, and it’s so obviously bunk to modern linguists and psychologists that they won’t even take the time to write articles debunking it. Speculative Grammarian, The Onion of linguistics, has an article making fun of it.
Ei tarvitse perustaa pseudolingvistiseuran aikakauskirjaa—Mä kun törmäsin tähän: [Speculative Grammarian]
Забавная картинка. Вернула меня в далёкие институтские годы, и где-то на самом горизонте сознания закачались, словно миражи экзотические фамилии “Щерба” и “Бодуэн де Куртенэ”.
I love @SpecGram. “The premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics.” Hilarious. Read it.
[I]f you are a linguist, I can guarantee that you’ll find at least one thing in here that is absolutely hilarious. There’s something here for every subfield. If you have ever thought how funny it would be to write “nasal ingressive uvular trill” on a blackboard somewhere and count how many people make snorting noises, you need this book. It is also possibly worth the purchase just for Appendix A, “A Self-Defining Linguistics Glossary.”
The SpecGram book ... is surprisingly full to the brim and hilarious (from what I’ve read). It assumes a general understanding of a lot of post-intro linguistics and covers the whole range of subfields and interests. This way you avoid getting a syntactician a book on historical linguistics (yuck) or getting a phonologist a book on generative semantics. Safest bet for sure, IMO.
I don’t work for them, but allow me to plug SpecGram’s book. They’ve had an excellent marketing campaign ..., and if your [gift recipient] is serious about linguistics, this is probably a better alternative than many of the other vaguely language-related books out there.
The bulk of the text is built around subfields—sets of pieces on typology, syntax, phonetics, whatevs. Richly illustrated even. I’m guessing anybody who reads this will find plenty of nuggets that they can enjoy and use.
Sometimes it actually makes the distinctions between different theories or sub-disciplines of linguistics easier to understand than more earnest volumes. But don’t let some learning get in the way of a good chortle. Even the errata page is a good excuse for a joke or two.
[S]ome new hotness: The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics
Seriously, this volume has not only a real place in the field, it also continues an important tradition. I keep Studies out in Left Field: Defamatory essays presented to James D. McCawley (originally published in 1971 ...) on my desk at all times. I regularly give students the “supplementary glossary of linguistic terminology” from that. ... But it needed updating. The Essential Guide has six pages of “self-defining linguistic glossary” ... a bit of overlap with Studies, of course, but tons more stuff and covering a lot of the field.
I have enjoyed reading every single page in The Speculative Grammarian [book]. It is the book that a linguist can read for pleasure!
Just like I advise students that you don’t have to like every field of linguistics, you don’t have to like everything in SpecGram (or, for that matter, understand it, there is often detail upon detail lurking in those footnotes). There’s more than enough there for linguists of any flavour to find something of amusement, and it’s a book that’s always worth coming back to.
At Team Verb, we’re all pretty pumped about this. Or as one colleague put it:
This goes on the new MA reading list. Hell, this is the new MA reading list.Given that the old reading list consisted of stuff written between the Rig Veda and Bloomfield’s Menominee Grammar, it would be a step forward, but can’t you imagine the prelims: please open the Essential Guide to p. 194, and let’s discuss “Are Turkish and Amharic Related? Are they ever!”
I always wait for the new issues of SpecGram to be announced on LINGUIST.
As a syntax enthusiast, I am a fan of that last verse.
Someone please make a syntax tree of the Chomsky verse.
Well worth the attention of anybody with a linguistics background.
Speculative Grammarian, a webzine of linguistic satire, for when you become a hardcore language nerd.
Here is satirical account of the history of ideas in linguistics as merely social, rather than socio-semiotic.
What the. omg.
might just be the way the language works or we might have a badass over here
This is so beautiful I love it.
This is probably the prettiest way I’ve seen these described.
—A Beautiful (In)sanity
Oh my gosh, the Turkish makes so much more sense now!
Oh hey I’ve done stuff like this in linguistics. It’s supposed to be fun and it is but it also makes my head hurt sometimes.
—walking on a high wire
All the answers have at last been found & collected into one magnificent dirt-cheap volume!! Eternal enlightenment is ours! ... The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics! I bought it! I treasure it! I sit rapt at its sagely feet!
Finally, serious research in the oft neglected field of satirical linguistics. I thought this would never be covered.
The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics という本が発売されています。 言語学者によって書かれた言語学者向けのジョーク本です。
Go ahead and buy your own copy. It is even cheaper than a full unhealthy meal at a fancy “fast-food” restaurant. It is worth it.
My SpecGram book is finally with me! I hope it won’t ruin my working day :)
The SpecGram Essential Guide to Linguistics really is a hoot! Highly recommended for linguaphiles & conlangers alike.
[D]ie-hard linguists will go crazy for [The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics]. ... A definite must read for Linguists or those who just like language and have some time on their hands. It made me have some fond memories of tape recorders and the numerous ways people can pronounce a vowel. ... PS: I want to be a vowelkyrie.
Shout it from the rooftops. Or just do like me and go stand on a street corner waving a Bible and scream it: “The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics is out!”
A word of warning: much of [The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics] is very technical, with articles and references that few but a trained linguist will twig. A lot of it went over my head, and if you’re not into linguistics your mileage will vary. But some sections are generally accessible, and the motley mischief is unified by the trademark SpecGram voice–if such a thing can be said to exist–which combines condescension with flattery and arch irony with sincere delight.
SpecGram has now condensed centuries of satirical linguistic articles, comics and pearls of wisdom into a single book. ... [T]his compilation makes a tidy package, a pleasant bit of browsing, and a convenient gift for the book-loving linguist. ... There is also some additional material in this book—it’s worth it for the self-defining glossary of linguistic terms alone.
[The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics] will be a symbolic expression of your inner linguistic nerd.
Looks too Craaazaayyy for me..
This sounds delightful.
Moram s vama da podelim jedan burleskan, duhoviti, ali u suštini kritički, kao bajagi sociolingvistički tekstić, iz jednog satiričnog lingvističkog časopisa, koji je povezan s ovom temom: „O uljudnosti prema ženama u slovenskim jezicima“, Émil Schouwiniste-Pigge.
Nothing could better explain what I love about non-viral social media than this list of Proofs, taken from the SpecGram newsletter.