The Escalator of Life—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CLV, No 3 Contents From the Department of Cheap Research: Melnick’s Thesis—Woody Ellen

Letters to the Editor

Hello People,

I am not a scientist of any sort, but have been looking to see if there has been a study on the memory phenomenon of instantly forgetting a name when one is introduced. I have been listening for some time to many people of all ages saying that they forget a name when introduced, “as though it went in one ear & out the other”. Why do humans so consistently ‘dump’ a name from memory this way?

Could you please tell me if you know of any such study? If there isn’t, it might be interesting to do one.

I enjoyed reading about the woman naming her offspring in sequences to get at the right one, and how that was structured to save space. Very interesting.

Thank you for your attention.

Molly Swan-Sheeran


Dear Molly,

William Tagmeyer has suggested that they really do go in one ear and out the other, through a hypergelasticity of one of the eustachian tubes, which are only supposed to go into the pharynx. This tube, known as Tagmeyer’s tube, is a birth defect attested to date only in Tagmeyer, who values it more than anything in the world.

At the other extreme, many people do not, in fact, forget these names. These are your social climbers. Ever fearful of forgetting a name that may turn out to be important, these memorizers practice endlessly at socially inconsequential cocktail parties, bearing in mind that at important gatherings they need only remember the names for a few hours; when they get home they can write everything down. You might try this approach.



Dear Editors,

There is a very interesting meme floating around out there, which claims that readers (specifically of English) can read without difficulty words that have been scrambled, as long as the first and last letters are unmoved. We doubt that the claim is actually true for arbitrary scrambling, but only for light scrambling. We are generally fairly lazy, so we lack the energy to do the research required to determine the answer. Instead we thought we would just ask the wise editorship of Speculative Grammarian.

Fatih Castillo &
Faith Callisto


Daer Fitah Citlalso,

We arege wtih yuor theroy aoubt tihs s-coaleld tehory, and we are aslo too lzay (wlel, acutlaly, our itnrens hvae gnoe msising and we canont be bohteerd to get up off our caihess logneus in the edtioiarl lonuge).

So, isnated of dniog lbrraiy rcarseeh, we have dcideed to do flied rcseraeh: we are ginog to lhtilgy mix up the ltrtees in the wdros in one ppgraaarh in our rlpey and halievy mix up the leettrs of the wrdos in antehor parraapgh, and see how much cmpnoiailng hpaepns.

To make even it more interesting, we are going test to another at the same theory time, and mix lightly up in words phrase each of another paragraph, keeping first the last and in word each the phrase same, just the for of the parallel amusement the between experiments.

We mix phrases also heavily the of in another words will the paragraph, though almost become will certainly it unreadable, even each first last if in the the keep word we phrase and same.



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 letters 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.

The Escalator of Life—A Letter from the Managing Editor
From the Department of Cheap Research: Melnick’s Thesis—Woody Ellen
SpecGram Vol CLV, No 3 Contents