SpecGram Vol CLXIII, No 4 Contents Letters to the Editor

Remembering Better Times

A Letter from a Former Editor
Herbert Theodore Howlingstonshire, XII

It wasn’t long ago that the editors and staff of Speculative Grammarian could be found enjoying a snifter of brandy and a fine cigar in the Henry Suite of the Pāṇini Memorial Hall and Arcade in genial collegiality (or collegial geniality). Back in those days, we would gather together and pass the stogie and snifter around and chat about the golden days of antiquity: when spectrograms were measured manually, and a linguist commanded respect, whether it be in his office, in the lecture hall, or even the local speakeasy. It was a time of intellectual honesty and generositya time I was proud to have witnessed and shared with some of the finest minds ever to diagram a sentence.

That abruptly changed the day the powers that be sprung for multiple snifters and multiple cigars. Now that each editor had his own cigar and his own snifter of brandy, the staff grew uneasy and suspicious. Where former colleagues had shared an office, a bed and a chamber pot, the new breed demanded their own chamber potsthat each of them might use exclusively! Soon employees at the new SpecCorps were demanding their own clothing and pocket watcheseven individual handkerchiefs! And those of us who preferred the flavor of the communal tobacco plug were left to measure out just what had been lost.

Now, of course, our entire enterprise has been shaken to its very core. Where once the august journal Speculative Grammarian had published scholarly articles about the possible future phonological, morphological and semantic changes that would take effect in present day languages (hence the title), we now publish articles that amount to little more than boorish knavery. It’s as if we’ve taken the word “speculative” to mean “rattlepated”. And the editors? The former collegiality we treasured? Vanished. Each editor struts about wearing his (or her!) own trousers, drinking caffeinated beverages out of styrofoam cups, and disdaining the once sacred communal toothpick.

So, if you enjoy this tomfoolery, then, by all means: Read on! Read the latest issue of “SpecGram”, and enjoy your japes about...inappropriate words, and...phony analyses, and prepositional “phrases” and a theory that’s somehow more “optimal” than the rest. Far be it from me to ruin your...fun. I shall sit here quietly on the communal toilet and remember when “we” used to be inclusivenot exclusive.

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CLXIII, No 4 Contents