Publication Information Babel Vol I, No 2 Contents Classifying an Andean Language—Rodrigo Diaz

Our Readers Mouth Off

*Editor’s note—all replies to readers’ letters are written by the Editor-in-Chief. Views of other members of the editorial staff are likely to be more intelligent than those expressed here. In fact, forget likely to bethe truth is, you can count on it.

& & &

To whoever really writes Babel:

   Who is Tim Pulju? He can’t really be the editor of Babel, since running a photocopier requires at least a modicum of intelligence. Why has he never published any articles in journals that most linguists have actually heard of? Is he really a linguist, or just an escaped mental patient, as his writing seems to indicate? Or does he even exist at all outside of the imagination of some fellow seeking a mouthpiece for his bizarre ideas? The only reason I’m asking is that a colleague of mine showed me a copy of Babel and also of something else purportedly written by this Pulju person about a linguistics conference in Cheboygan, Michigan. Anyway, I’m just wondering, does Tim Pulju actually exist, and if he does is he as much of an idiot as he seems?

                   Jim Stowell
                   Cambridge, MA

Dear Mr. Stowell,

   Last time I checked, I did indeed exist. But that was some days ago, and my status may have changed since then. As for your second question, you’ll have to ask your parakeet.

& & &

Dear Babel:

   Regarding Mr. Bernini’s article (Vol.I Nmbr.1): I never proposed in my 1985 work, The Syntax of Oil Paint on Unprimed Canvasses, that we regard writing as a performance error; rather, I suggested that we regard performance as a writing error. This is a subtle but crucial distinction, without which Mr. Bernini’s efforts to apply his framework to written texts will prove unmanageable.

                   Diego Velasquez
                   Toledo, Spain

Dear Mr. Velasquez:

   Have you considered the possibility that error is a performance writing? Or that writing is error performance? These and myriad other possibilities, should be considered before you jump to any conclusions.

& & &

To the Editor-in-Chief,

   I am not surprised that Bill Spruiell would think that the Indo-Europeans “sloshed” out of the Urheim, since the few times I have met him he has been doing some heavy-duty sloshing himself. He accuses me of over-generalizing my Peace Corps background, yet it is obvious that he is the one over-generalizing his background as a hopeless sot. Incidentally, his paper in Babel I.1 gives every indication of having been written while he was in one of his usual stupors. I can only hope that he will seek help before he ruins whatever reputation he may still have.

                   Colin Renfrew
                   Ploughville, England

Dear Mr. Renfrew,

   Just because Dr. Spruiell is a drunk (if he is a drunk—a fact which we by no means concede) doesn’t mean his theory is automatically worthless. Indeed, it has recently received support from so august a source as Dr. Timothy Leary, who is certainly not a drunk, whatever else he may be. So go back to your farmland and pout, you Peace Corps background over-generalizer, you.

& & &

Dear Tim Pulju,

   I have a message for Doug Files: get a life, you poor sap.

                   No Name Please
                   Lansing, MI, USA

Dear Pat No Name,

   I will pass your message on.

& & &

To Babel Author Keith Slater:

   Thank you for your insightful analysis of discourse gender in Hakka Creole. I intend to use it in all my Chinese linguistics classes from now on. And thanks to Babel, also, for daring to publish this groundbreaking article. Your talents and nobility are truly beyond compare.

                   Warmly and full of awe,
                   M.T. Varro

P.S. By the way, I’m going to be in Taiwan this summer, and I’m wondering if there might be any positions open at your offices there. I am an excellent linguist.

Dear M.T.,

   Who are you trying to fool? You don’t even speak Chinese.

Publication Information
Classifying an Andean LanguageRodrigo Diaz
Babel Vol I, No 2 Contents