Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLX, No 3 Contents Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson

Meet the SpecGram Editors

In response to a decades-long demand to lift the veil of near-anonymity behind which the editors of Speculative Grammarian live, lurk, and work, we have begrudgingly agreed to provide publicly for the very first time a series of brief biographical sketches of select editors. Those editors with multiple outstanding federal warrants for their arrest on charges of embezzling clauses, exhortation and blackmail, and receiving stolen prepositions have been excluded, upon advice from our attorneys. Two more biographical sketches are below.

Name: Keith W. Slater
Title: Senior Editor
Birthdate: December 18, 1878
Areas of research: Grammar Writing, Grammar Reading, Grammar Selling, Grammar Purchasing, Typological Grammar, Non-typological Grammar, Grammaticalization, and anything that does not involve Phonology or Semantics.

Biographical sketch: In a golden age of exploration, Keith Slater was an eager player in the expansion of linguistic knowledge. Having finished a PhD in linguistic anthropology at Columbia University in 1901 (two days before the appointment of Franz Boas to the faculty), he taught in relative obscurity in the department of entomological linguistics at Michigan Agricultural College until he was nearly selected as the staff linguistto focus on Penguin dialectsfor Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910 Terra Nova Expedition. In 1922, Slater just missed accompanying Howard Carter’s successful discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, and two years later, after hearing Slater give a lecture on pinniped syntax, Leonard Bloomfield personally made the decision to exclude him from the founding group of the LSA. Years later, Slater devoted himself to describing minor issues in Nepali clause combining after being left behind at base camp during Tenzing Norgay’s Pinnacle Sherpa fieldwork expedition of 1953. Slater came late in life to value satirical linguistics more highly than the other (less forgiving) genres. At the invitation of H.D. Onesimus, he joined the staff of SpecGram competitor Psammeticus Quarterly in the late 1980’s, and thence his services were brought to SpecGram after a hostile takeover by Rice University Functionalists during the heady days of the “Noamless Nineties.”

Major publications:

Name: Jouni Maho
Title: Consulting Editor
Birth Data: Born June 1966 in Finland.
Area of Specialty: Analysis of made-up data, preferably his own.

Biographical Snapshot: Having long recognised the importance of the human vocabulary, JM started making up his own words at the tender age of 2 months. Since then, he has devoted his entire life developing these skills. He enrolled at the unaccredited Graham Island University at the age of ten, where he wrote his dissertation about his own words. It became one of the all-time bestsellers of his village, after his mother bought up the entire printing stock from the local book depot. Being the only living speaker of his own words, he quickly gained regional fame and notoriety as the first and last speaker of the very words he had made up. Subsequently he also became much sought after all over the world, not so much as a guest speaker but as a professional informant offering his services to other linguists who wish to study his unique vocabulary for their own dissertations. When not making up his own data, he runs a side-business turning dead animals into furniture.

Publication Highlights: