SpecGram Vol CLII, No 2 Contents Letters to the Editor

lim ∑ 1/n → ∞

A Letter from the Managing Editor

It seems that the present volume of Speculative Grammarian, CLII, may be the “Volume of the Series”. Several series have continued into this volume, and a few
Tàu cánh ngầm
của tôi đầy lươn
— Vietnamese
more have started here, in the last issue. Honestly, given the unreliability of some of our contributors, we had to wait to see if they were going to follow through with a second installment before committing to the “series” label. It wouldn’t do to have a “series of one,” much less several such, unless you go in for a “Meta-Series of Failed Series” kind of thing.

So, in this issue we continue our pleasantly long-running series of reprints of the works of Metalleus, return to our normal series of letters from readers after last issue’s œuvre magnifique, continue with the inspired but poorly numbered “Cartoon Theories of Linguistics”, welcome back a firmly chastised but totally unabashed Claude Searsplainpockets after an unintended hiatus, continue our puzzle series with HitoriGuistiku; and Psammeticus Press continues their longtime sponsorship with their ongoing series of book announcements. Of course, it isn’t just about the series. We also have articles on systematic suppletion and Klingon Braille, a squib on the English first/second singular/plural pronoun, and a very interesting service offering related to 21st century child-naming.

Getting back to our theme of series: loyal readers of this column are familiar with the series of unfortunate events that have befallen this journal and its editors and publishers. But not all of
هواناو من پر مارماهى است
— Persian
the times we have had have been tough. Truth be told, the history of SpecGram as presented in these pages has not always been complete. As with any written history, complete details are not always known at the time of publicationand our Grammatical Archeologists are constantly researching in the remnants of our own archives and in the vaults of libraries and private collectors around the world. Sometimes, the details are known, but are suppressed for reasons of simplicity (we have usually followed the history of the main SpecGram offices, but satellite offices have been sprinkled around the world at various times) or even vanity (we have omitted some embarrassing or less-than-savory stories from our chronicle).

A little-known and even-less-well-publicized incident has previously been elided for reasons of both simplicity and vanity. Shortly after fleeing France and moving to New Orleans, Jacques Chirachaving promoted himself from Editorial Associate to Lord High Editorial Omnipotenceopened a small satellite office on the tiny tropical island paradise of Nauru around 1810. He and other members of the reconstituted editorial board vacationed there when the rigors of publishing the leading linguistics journal of the New World overwhelmed them. After the closure of the journal by the Union occupation in the 1860s and the subsequent
Moje vznášedlo
je plné úhořů
— Czech
purchase of the journal in 1882 by a shadowy group of Northern intellectuals residing in Galveston, said carpetbaggers discovered under one of the decrepit printing presses a deed to the SpecGram property in Nauru. Once on the island, they found a fossilized corndog sitting on a pile of almost seven million dollars (Australian) worth of Ottoman akçe in a desk drawer. While the main offices of SpecGram technically remained in Galveston, the Big Party was in Nauru. What a time to be an editor it must have been! Five years later, some of the Junior Editorial Associates, led by Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim XXIV, and beginning to feel pangs of guilt for not having published in years, left Nauru for California, and started hiring. They financed publication by posing as waiters at the Nauruan headquarters of SpecGram, where the “real” editors regularly left tips of ridiculous proportions (rumored to have fueled and prolonged the Nauruan Tribal War of 1878-1888). von Hohenheim became the de facto Publisher and Managing Editor, and he was prolific, if soft-hearted. These events led directly to the Great Splurge of 1888 (and indirectly the tragedy of the San Diego Landfill Slide of 1899). In 1888 or 1889 the cash ran out in Nauru, and the erstwhile carpetbaggers, unable to pay for their latest soirée and unable to charm their way past the new German administrators of the island, found themselves in debtors’ prison. These two events lead to the actual migration of the SpecGram editorial board and publishing operation to Galveston, a mere two weeks before the Great Hurricane.

In upcoming issues, we may delve deeper into the history of Speculative Grammarian, and
Tá m’árthach foluaineach
lán d’eascainn
— Irish Gaelic
possibly even look at the myths of its pre-history prior to its official founding by Petrus Hispanus in 1276, time and space permitting.

Finally, to complement our earlier Computer Language Appreciation Issue, four issues back, this time we present this, our Human Language Appreciation Issue. Every linguist has been asked, “Oh, how many languages do you speak?” Well, how many is it? How many examples do you have to look at to figure out the special secret phrase?

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CLII, No 2 Contents