Huffmenglish--A Proposal for Lossless Entropy-Encoded Spelling Reform—Twvx Tthm ad Tthh usn trryv Aluuaj SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 2 Contents Crossword: Just In Case—Keith Slater

SpecGram, the Religion

The SpecGram Junior Archivist Cabal
Margo T. Cip, A. M. Grössten, & Strčprst Kskrzkrk

Linguists have always had several choices of deityincluding Bloduwedda and her lot, or Θωθ, the pre-technological deity of computational linguisticsbut there have never been any gods of satirical linguistics. However, on a recent data-diving expedition, we three junior SpecGram archivists have discovered that we are not as theologically lonely as we might have once thought.

Detailing what has been described as “an orgiastic melting pot of world religions”, several 3rd-century Phoenician scrolls found in modern-day Lebanon in the 1830’s give the divine genealogy of the first Σπεκουλάτωρ Γραμματεύς. Part of the story contained in these texts is presented below, translated and rendered into English by the AutoGrammatikon™ Quasi-Universal Translator and Optikal TransduserSM.

¶ Thus is it written: Bloduwedda and Loki begat a daughter, Æsc, the Goddess of Burnt Flowers and Free Word Order. Æsc did roam the world, and when she found languages bound to strict word order, if her spirit was moved, she did reach out her hand and spin the cycle of grammaticalization, and they would become free. ¶ Unto herself Æsc did take Lhareth as her consort. Æsc and Lhareth begat a daughter, Dwynwyn Gwythyr, the Goddess of Borrowed and Stolen Words. Dwynwyn Gwythyr, like her mother, was a wanderer; but she was not so carefree. She did sneak from land to land, taking words from tongue to tongue, mixing and borrowing and calquing and hoarding. ¶ And so is it also written: Nullifica and Θωθ begat a son, Χάοpunctum, the God of Uninitialized Pointers. Χάοpunctum did inspect and curate the referents of null pointers — digital, morphomic, philosophical, and self-referential. He watches over and guides the missteps of babes and fools, except when they are giving live demos — then he does leave them completely on their own. ¶ Even as Dwynwyn Gwythyr did steal the last essence of a word from a near-forgotten tongue did Χάοpunctum seek to dereference a pointer to it in the mind of the last speaker (as she gasped her last breath). Their spirits embraced in the nether world of Langue, and their bodies did join in the earthly dominion of Parole. ¶ So did it come to pass that Dwynwyn Gwythyr and Χάοpunctum begat the Twin Gods of Minimal Pairs: a son, 隆武, the God of Nobly Aspirated Consonants, and a daughter, 民子美子智子, the Goddess of Onomastic Doublets and Vowel Harmony. 隆武 did leave the world of everyday things to begin a school in the mountains, where he sought to teach mankind the true joy and inner peace that comes of fortis articulation. ¶ Meanwhile, 民子美子智子, like mother and grandmother before, did peregrinate, far and wide. She encouraged mothers to give overly cutesy pairs of names to their twin children. And she inspired those twins to live far apart, yet retain surprisingly many attributes of similarity — being thus in harmony. ¶ Furthermore is it additionally written: Kokopelli and Gheldrudda begat a daughter, Phonē, the Muse of Sarcasm. Phonē did in time become the patron of jesters, comedians, parodists, satirists, and editors of linguistics journals. She did conjure a half dozen hemi-demi-demons — SNARK, SPITE, SNIDE, SNEER, SCORN, and SCATHE — and released them into the world. They spread dangnation, creating heck on earth for untold tens of mortals. ¶ Over the timeless eons, 民子美子智子 did come to be aware of the engagingly bitter works of Phonē and her minions, and so she sought her out. Having found her, she clave her to her bosom, and Phonē did reciprocate in kind. In time, 民子美子智子 and Phonē begat a
son,◊ Ευφήμιος Ἀναξαγόρας, the first and most feared Σπεκουλάτωρ Γραμματεύς. ¶ Countless are the grammatical and scrivenatorial feats of the greatest of the executioner-scribes, Ευφήμιος Ἀναξαγόρας — though among his most famous is the defeat of Частица — the embodiment of dropped particles — a great fanged beast sprung to life at the behest of a trio of witches, rumored to perhaps be the fell servants of Typhon, “The Deletor”. ¶

As a service to our readers, we also provide the following family tree, for easy reference and study by the faithful.

Now satirical linguists of all stripes can find some deity that appeals to them on a personal level, while retaining sound textual and theological links to one or the other of the provably true religions: Bloduweddaism and Anti-Bloduweddaism. The more sarcastic among us may invoke Phonē in times of need. Those who find sarcasm a low form of satire may profess Anti-Phonēism. Computational Lingua Pranckers will enjoy the anarchic blessing of Χάοpunctum in their code, while the Anti-Χάοpunctumites diligently initialize all variables. The SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ have already set up a shrine to 民子美子智子. Satirical linguists who wish to give in to their baser prescriptivist leanings may embrace Ευφήμιος Ἀναξαγόρας, already a saint among some members of the Original English Movement. There are even rumorspossibly only urban legendsof a Cult of Частица forming among the Αντι-Ευφήμιος-Ἀναξαγόρασιστας within the OEM. They are said to believe that Частица will rise again at the time of Runikarokan end-times scenario in which the ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ will re-assert dominance over a pan-global English, bringing the world to an end. At Runikarok, Частица is supposed to devour Ευφήμιος Ἀναξαγόρας.

See, there’s something for everyone!

Butch McBastard, 2011, personal communication.

They also assume a familiarity with world mythology and Divine Unification Grammar.

Cabalists’ Note: Māui (the Polynesian trickster god), Puck (the mischievous English nature sprite), and several well-known Leprechauns have all been identified in several ancillary scrolls as likely candidates to be the anonymous donor of the necessary, uhhh, “moving constituents” required to inseminate the female power couple. Also of note, each mother carried the baby for 4 or 5 monthsthey alternated every month so that the pregnancy and attendant discomforts would not unduly interfere with their careers outside the home.

HuffmenglishA Proposal for Lossless Entropy-Encoded Spelling ReformTwvx Tthm ad Tthh usn trryv Aluuaj
Crossword: Just In CaseKeith Slater
SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 2 Contents