Overheard in the Faculty Lounge—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CLV, No 4 Contents What is Linguistics Good For, Anyway?—Jonathan van der Meer

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir,

Without the slightest difficulty, I understood the Editors’ reply to the letter of Fatih Callisto and Faith Castillo (or authors corresponding to some permutation of those letters) in SpecGram CLV, 3.

So please help me; what’s wrong with me?

Yahya Abdal-Aziz


Dear Yahya,

Perhaps it means either that you are yourself mixed up inside, or that you see the entire world as so mixed up that a little more scrambling poses no difficulty for you. Introspection on your part is likely required to tell the difference. Good luck.


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.

To the editors of SpecGram

I have been shocked by the utter scientific shortsightedness of I.R. Superordinate’s article on Big Alien Non-Adjective Invaders in American English. While I do not contest the very reasonable hypothesis of an extraterrestrial influence in the creation of the so-called ‘New English’ (honestly, who wouldn’t prefer to blame the Others for linguistic decadence?)she absurdly assumes in her argumentation that language influences directly our degree of intellectual ability. How could you let such Linguistic Determinism appear in your illustrious pages? Have you never heard of Mentalese? I want it to be understood that aliens have no means to affect (‘dumb down’) our Language of Thought which rests noble, lucid and pure (lest they manipulate our genetic make-up, which - - - o – my – gawd - don’t make me think about it!).

Guilhèm IX d’Aquitània e Gasconha & VII de Peitieus


Like, Yo! G9,

Blaming the Self vs. the Other. East Coast vs. West Coast. Linguistic determinism vs. Mentalese. Boxers vs. Briefs. Sapir vs. Whorf. These are all important, vexing questions. Unfortunately, our new Alien Overlords will not allow us to discuss them at any length.

Word to your mother,

Overheard in the Faculty Lounge—A Letter from the Managing Editor
What is Linguistics Good For, Anyway?—Jonathan van der Meer
SpecGram Vol CLV, No 4 Contents