SpecGram Vol CLXV, No 3 Contents Letters to the Editor

To the Computational Linguists

A Letter from the Managing Editor


First, why isn’t there more Computational Philology out there? Okay, I know no one is going to actually answer that, and most computational linguists don’t even know that Computational Philology exists. Kids these daysno respect for their elders, and no knowledge of the classics!

But seriously, why did you have to name the field “Computational Linguistics” and not, say, “Linguistic Computation”? Then you could have been housed solidly in the Engineering Building, and no Real Linguist™ would ever have to give your disgraceful field a second thought.

Yeah, you heard me, your field is a disgrace. You have too much data. You do too much math. You don’t have nearly enough theory. Your results are both too good, given your lack of an explicit traditional theoretical framework, and too poor, given how good humans are at language. “The vodka is good but the meat is rotten” is both an example and a metaphor. Met. A. Phor. Look it up.

Michaela Mahlberg, 2012, “The corpus stylistic analysis of fictionor the fiction of corpus stylistics?”, in Corpus Linguistics and Variation in English: Theory and Description, Rodopi.

Chiasmus of the Month
September 2012

STEM fields (“Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”that’s an acronym: Ac. Ro. Nym.; look it up, poindexter) already get all the money, all the accolades, and all the groupies. (Yes, yes, Hittitologists technically have groupies, too. But have you ever actually seen a Hittite groupie? Shudder.) Why couldn’t you leave Linguistics alone?

And why bother linguistics in particular? Sure, Computational History, Computational Literature, and Computational Sociology technically exist, but no one takes them seriously. Can you fill in the blank?

Computational Linguistics : Google :: Computational Sociology : _____
Hey, look, nimrod, an analogy. A. Nal. O. Gy. Any clue at all?
No, of course not. Why? Because the Computational Sociologists have the common decency to not go out and become billionaires while ruining Real Sociology for the Real Sociologists™.

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CLXV, No 3 Contents