SpecGram Vol CLVII, No 4 Contents Letters to the Editor

(P)ain Itself

A Letter from the Managing Editor

First I must apologize for the title of this installment. My typesetting assistant, who was tired of receiving my monthly letter transliterated into runes and written on papyrus (a habit I picked up from the locals while living in Tierra del Fuego in the 1950s), created a “template” for me to fill in on this “computer” in my office. She titled it Lorem Ipsum and filled it with pseudo-Latin text. My document-fetching research assistant, when I asked how to change the title, demonstrated by changing the title to the more philologically appropriate (Do)lorem Ipsum, a humorous change for which I thanked her. After that, according to my information systems assistant, I invoked some automatic translation “software” which translated the Latin to the title you see now. That could have been the end of the story, but shortly thereafter some automated “program” swept up the title from the “template” and “fed” it as “input” to our steam-powered mechanical typesetter, which then proceeded to print the table of contents of this issue of the journal. At that point, I could have demanded a title change, but it would have required pulping the initial run of the table of contents, which was some 4.2 million pages. It’s a small fraction of the total amount of paper used in our monthly circulation, but not a trivial amount in and of itself.

Of course, remedial action has been taken. Editorial runic papyri are once again the order of the day. My typesetting and research assistants have been flogged. (In truth, each opted to have their whipping sub-assistant flogged in their stead. Due to recent budget cuts, though, they both have the same whipping sub-assistant, who was thus flogged twice.) My information systems assistant, our former unpaid machine intelligence exchange student RoboFetch 2000, had several magnets passed over its central processors. At least I feel better now.

In other news, I am pleased to welcome back a rejuvenated, reinvigorated, and remodeled Panini Press. I am also pleased to point out that this issue is a bit weightier than recent issues. Longtime readers may remember the unfortunate events of 1594, during which certain unscrupulous editors promised forthcoming “weightier issues”, only to have them delivered engraved on slabs of wood. Some survivors of the Crisis on Infinite Earths of nearly 25 years ago who immigrated here from the parallel reality of Earth-247 may recall the time in April 2997 when certain seasonally foolish editors promised forthcoming “weightier issues”, only to have them delivered using logarithmic nats instead of the customary binary bits. No such nonsense this time. This issue is weightier because it has more actual content (not limited solely to the ridiculous length of this particular letter).

Our Puzzle Meisters are still judging the entries we received in response to the Summer Puzzle Mega Issue (from back in July 2009). We are expecting to have a special supplement later this month or early in January 2010 which will feature the solutions to the puzzles, and the names of the puzzle contest winners.

Finally, we offer our hearty congratulations to the Chiasmus of the Month Award winners for December 2009!

Bruce Fraser and Ken Turner (eds.), 2009, Language in Life, and a Life in Language: Jacob Mey, A Festschrift, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Chiasmus of the Month
December 2009

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CLVII, No 4 Contents