SpecGram Vol CLXIII, No 2 Contents Ask Mr Linguistics Person

I See What You Did There

A Letter from the Managing Editor

As a nice young lady named MerrinnaryBlaspinal_Fap, who wrote in from “the Intertubes”, correctly pointed out, the letter from the editor in last month’s issue prominently featured a picture of Y U NO Guy, who is apparently an “online celebrity” of some sort.

It is also true that from time to time we have co-opted the flotsam and jetsam of popular culture and bent it to our purposes. It is of course the job of the Managing Editor and the entire Editorial Board to ensure that our august journal, while maintaining strict standards of editorial quality and swearing firm allegiance to appropriately hidebound tradition, stays “relevant” to both professors emeriti and the hep young cats who prowl the mean streets of undergrad linguistics departments. We as linguists understand the power of language!

Stephanie Harves and Richard S. Kayne, 2012, “Having Need and Needing Have”, Linguistic Inquiry, Vol. 43, No. 1.
Chiasmus of the Month
November 2011

This is a custom of long practice: back in the 1920s, we featured quite prominently risqué pictures of several of the Phamous Phlapper Philologists. We even went so far as to acquire pictures of Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker streaking (with mood rings on, naturally) in the 1970s, but after careful consideration by our legal team it was determined that publishing them would constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention.

With that, I offer ... No, wait. I’ve been encouraged to explain the absence of the Chiasmus of the Month Award for the last couple of issues. There’s not really much of a tale to tell. Senior Editor Keith Slater “convinced” (the lawyers say I can’t say “tricked”) Consulting Editor Bill Spruiell and Associate Editor Daniela Müller to partake in a Special SpecGram Tourism Package. Editor Slater personally guided the Burma Road segment of the trip, during which the participants paid high prices to dance in grass skirts and buy turquoise trinkets from Thai merchants disguised (sort of) as Shan tribal elders.

There was much discussion of a certain “meat-on-a-stick thing” served by the “Shan”, with Editor Spruiell insisting his doctor needed to know what kind of meat it was in order to narrow down his diagnosis, and Editor Müller doubting it was even meat because it kept moving off the plate. The general consensus was that the plates, the table, and the chairs were “wiggling” because of the “incense” the tribal elders were burning in the hut. Or, as one participant noted, “At least, I hope that was all a perceptual distortion. Not even that Wicca furniture they sell at Pier One moves all by itself.”

Editor Slater explained that there was nothing to worry about: “You two are way too trusting. That wasn’t meat. In fact, the Shan never waste good meat on tourists.”

Anyway, you can see how such an episode could obviously lead to certain editorial delays.

With that, I offer hearty congratulations to the Chiasmus of the Month Award winners for November 2011!

Ask Mr Linguistics Person
SpecGram Vol CLXIII, No 2 Contents