Carta aos Pirahãs—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CLXIII, No 1 Contents Paradigmatically Encoded Logographs—Using SLP to Reveal Divinely Encrypted Communications—The SpecGram Margo Cult

“Dear Grammy”

Advice From Your [+agony] Aunt

Dear Grammy,

It all started innocently enough. The new neighbours came by and asked to borrow salt. Well, that was understandable and a fair enough request which, kind-hearted as I am, I could not refuse. Then they borrowed eggs, then milk. That left me in a bit of a pickle. I had to borrow an omelette from my friends across the way. But it did not stop there. After borrowing a few more food items they moved on to technologymy computer, would you believe, and my keyboard. And nothing came back, you know. Then they started borrowing my lettersfirst ‘v’, which I didn’t think I would miss really, after all how often do you need one? But I soon realised that e’en that was more common than I suspected. But that was after I had already agreed to lend them the ‘y’ and the ‘x’. Man, did I regret that. Life soon became etremel inconenient. After a while I started to think I was losing m identit. Once ‘g’ went too, it ot to the point where I hae ot to moe house or there’ll be nothin left. So I’m oin to shift net week.

Losing It from Leington

Dear Lex Loser,

First, it seems like your neighbo(u)r may have returned an extra ‘u’ to you. Did you lend a ‘z’ and get an ‘s’ in return without reali(z/s)ing it? No matter. Don’t move! Instead borrow a backbone and go over to your neighbors’ house and demand all your stuff back. If they refuse, you are justified in breaking in and calquing back whatever you need.


Dear Grammy,

I am having trouble with my other half. He treats me like an object. Pushes me around he does, I’m quite affronted. He denies it of course, says he’s the agent, and I should be patient. I think he’s being too subjective myself. He is the first person I have had a serious relationship with, and he wants to marry me, but I think it would be like a life sentence. Should I end it?


Dear A.C.C.,

It sounds like you two are not really in agreement. This is not uncommon among youngsters who have just begun having grammatical relations for the first time. It’s probably just a phrase you are going through. You have to believe that this “sentence” is not for life. In fact, it should come to an end when you get your period.


Dear Grammy,

Well, I am absolutely desperate, let me tell you, or I would never be writing to you. This is a very delicate matter, please be discreet with what I am sharing. Things have come to such a pass (well they haven’t, which is the problem) which is why I need your help. You see, I am all blocked up, and nothing’s coming out. Pain. If I have to spell it out to you it would be something like cnstptn. Some people never have this trouble. Grimm, for instance, regular as clockwork, practically a law. But me, help! The long and the short of it is I just want a vowel movement!

Bunged up in Basildon

Dear Bunged,

You need to loosen up a bit. I recommend you get a dose of a Polynesian language (Hawai’ian is readily available in many places)three times a day for two weeks, or until symptoms disappear. If you still have symptoms after two weeks, you should see a phonologist. If you practice alternative linguistics, you could also consult your phrenologists, but I recommend against it, unless you have a lumpy head.


Carta aos PirahãsA Letter from the Managing Editor
Paradigmatically Encoded LogographsUsing SLP to Reveal Divinely Encrypted CommunicationsThe SpecGram Margo Cult
SpecGram Vol CLXIII, No 1 Contents