How To Get Published—A Letter from the Archgrammacion SpecGram Vol CL, No 4 Contents Poetry Corner

Letters to the Editor

Dear SpecGram,

We are students in Mrs. Johahnsohn’s Intro to Linguistics class at the High School for Impractical Professions in Houston, Texas. For class, we have been reading back issues of Speculative Grammarian, and learning about the Exciting Field of Linguistics.

One of our assignments is to write a letter to the editor commenting on an article. This is that letter. The article we want to discuss is Julius Obote’s A Note on BORROWING.

One of us, Lingweenny, believes that “borrowing” is no such thingit isn’t copying or replicating, either. It’s piracy! Such activity must stop immediately.

The other of us, Xochitl, feels that “borrowing” is a normal part of the evolution of a language. A good solution to the naming conundrum would be to “borrow” a technical-sounding word for “borrow” from another language, and use that! The self-referential aspect alone makes it worth the trouble!

Thanks for the great journal. Very informative. Keep it up.

Xochitl Gundersen
Lingweenny Spakkeddy
HSIP, Houston, TX


Dear Xochitl and ’Weeny,

How sweetlittle Linguist wannabes!

’Weenywe just want to say that Linguistics doesn’t need the likes of you. You seem to just want to make a name for yourself by stirring up trouble. We don’t want that. Why don’t you just join the RIAA’s Goon Squad and be done with it?

Xochitlwe want to compliment you on your very insightful analysis. In fact, we want to offer you an internship here at SpecGram. Your first task will be to find a nice, say, AmerInd root meaning “to copy” or “to replicate”, then stick some Latinate affixes on it, and we’ll try to promote it.

Good luck, and welcome aboard!



Hurricane Dennis


Deer SpekGramn,

I lurv lengwaj. I lurv lingwistiks. I lurv SpekGramn.

U guyz roX0Rs!

At All B. Hairy Vajpie
(not tha Pry Minnister)
Mounton Doo,


Dear At All,

Um.. “Thx!”

Dear Whomever:

Attached please find a submission to your journal. I have piles of papers to grade, so I wrote it instead. Unfortunately, the papers are still here.

Bjorn-Bob Weaselflinger
Oceanographic Institute
of Nevada—Kairo


Dear B-Bob,

Sorry about the papers not being graded. Usually a SpecGram Fairy™ comes and grades papers or writes dissertations during the time you are working on SpecGram articles.. however, because of a recent labour dispute, all the SpecGram Fairies™ are on strike. We’ll try to have that resolved by the time you feel like writing another article.



Hurricane Emily


Dear Editor, Edditor, and Eddytor:

I just wanted to write a quick note to follow up on my earlier article about the Pιčkιt.

I recently read Stephan Fatsis’s very interesting book on competitive Scrabble, Word Freak. Fatsis contends that world class Scrabble is, at its very foundation, a game of anagrams. Given my previous observations about potential Pιčkιt anagramming ability, I could not resist introducing the game to them.

The board and basic game-play confused them at first, but they quickly caught on. To my surprise, they told me of a much more complicated anagramming game they play, called clabs bercal srebb (“coil of looping words”). In this game, a set of phonemes is presented in PSL, along with two numbers, the first is the “reduplicator” and the second is the “set size”. If the reduplicator is 2, for example, then every phoneme must be used twice. If the set size is 3, for example, then the phonemes must be used to make exactly three words total.

By comparison, Scrabble is child’s play. Nonetheless, the game is now all the rage among the Pιčkιt, who enjoy the novelty of it.

The best player, a young man named Kwhy Toadif Arus, has easily bested a number of top-ten world-ranked Scrabble players. He should be making a splash on the world Scrabble scene soon, if only he can get over his agoraphobia.

Claude Searsplainpockets
Somewhere in Iceland


Dear Claude,

Very interesting! Looks like you have made some sort of decision about maintaining the anthropological purity of the Pιčkιt. Hope it is the right one.

How much do world-class Scrabble players make, anyway?

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 articles 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.

How To Get Published—A Letter from the Archgrammacion
Poetry Corner
SpecGram Vol CL, No 4 Contents