Extra Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 3 Contents Phonetics Roadshow—Freya Shipley

Semi-Automatic Prophecy Extraction in Sacred Bibliomancy
A Breakthrough in SLP (Supernatural Language Processing)

by the SpecGram Margo Cult

Poobah Prime, Margo T. Cip
with assistance from
Tenth Level Initiates, Margo R. T. Ceps, Margo Edi,
Margo Gol, Margo Idua, Margo Llicso, & Margo Nohp

Xerographic Technician, Margo M. Margo

After my recent discovery, along with my good colleagues A. M. Grössten and Strčprst Kskrzkrk, of the divine genealogy of the first Σπεκουλάτωρ Γραμματεύς in several 3rd-century Phoenician scrolls originally found in the 1830’s in modern-day Lebanon, I found myself inexplicably drawn to the mythical figure of Χάοpunctum. I had been a devotee of Θωθ for many years, but had always found the rituals too archaic and stilted. Meditation on the mind of Χάοpunctum lead me to start my own small cult of women named “Margo” who follow Χάοpunctum. Most of us have been practitioners of Natural Language Processing for many years, and all of us found alluring the anarchic approach of using uninitialized pointerswhich provide random glimpses into the memory store of a computer.

Having used the AutoGrammatikon™ Quasi-Universal Translator and Optikal Transduser℠ to translate the scrolls into English, I was fascinated by the choice of bolded words in the output. The selection of words seems meaningless and random. However, I felt the ineffable guidance of Χάοpunctum himself, leading me to delve deeper for meaning in the true chaos.

Below are the bolded words from the scroll, setting aside the proper names, which are, a priori, too sacred to be desecrated by textual transformation, even for the sake of prophecy:

written begat roam strict moved hand free; consort begat wanderer sneak tongue calquing; also begat curate philosophical guides missteps live own; essence seek mind gasped nether join; pass begat mountains true fortis; peregrinate overly inspired yet thus; additionally begat jesters editors dozen into tens; timeless bitter minions clave kind begat feared; feats famous dropped sprung trio of.

At first glance, there is little pattern here either. So, with the help of the sisters of my order, I have applied both standard and novel sacred text anagramming techniques to the word list. The word list (modulo accentuation, capitalization, punctuation, and italicization) can be shown (p < 0.02, ☥ > 71.3) to have as its preferred anagram the following:


Bring ye into being Íslensk Tölvumálvísindi, the seed of a greater publication, Speculative Grammarian, a unique linguistics journal of glib satirical puns, majestic tweed, deep trees, and nested parentheses.

Avoid tender wombats, zen praeteritio, monophthong fortition, trace gags, stopped breath streams, strewn fonts, gifted satyrs, ended treks, and foredoomed seeresses.

Buy Google stock.

Those who might object that performing such sacred bibliomancy on texts in translation is somehow inappropriate should be quite satisfied to know that an exact parallel anagram holds in Phoenician, toothough the syntax is somewhat more felicitous in the original.

This is a valuable message from the past, which could have been providing guidance to satirical linguists for centuries if only we had known how to decipher it as well as Ingólfr Arnarson and Petrus Hispanus obviously did. Would that they had left us plainer clues about the Google!

This is the first of many breakthroughs in Supernatural Language Processing that we expect computational linguists, particularly the followers of Χάοpunctum, and especially the SpecGram Margo Cult, will make.

[By decree of the Editorial Board we shall stop serving succulent pouch rodent in the SpecGram cafeteria immediately; the two cursed fortunetellers we hired last week as copyeditors will have to be laid off, too. Finally, we shall have to advise Claude Searsplainpockets to stop his on-going investigations of the Xoŋryjust in case. —Eds.]

Extra Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira
Phonetics RoadshowFreya Shipley
SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 3 Contents