Replies, Rejoinders, Retorts, and Ripostes—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CLXVI, No 3 Contents Poetry Corner

Letters to the Editor

In last month’s Letters to the Editor we discussed Al of et al. fame with a reader, and made some comments concerning Al’s alleged relationship to Speculative Grammarian.

After further consultation with the higher-ups at SpecGram, it turns out that we were not supposed to publish as much as we did. Please read Science and Nature articles until your mind is numb with so-called “facts” and you have forgotten all knowledge.


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Dear Speculative Grammarian,

In a recent edition of the Language Made Difficult podcast, one of your guests implicitly claimed that Gricean maxims belong to the field of sociolinguistics. But all linguistics textbooks unanimously assert that Grice’s work falls under the field of pragmatics. Do you support your guest’s nontraditional view?

George Gordon Byron

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Dear Georgie,

You seem to be under the impression that Language Made Difficult obeys standard conversational principles. We find this hard to believe, since you couldn’t actually have listened to the podcast and reached such a conclusion. The LingNerds and their guests are “maximal” in many ways, but definitely not in the Gricean sense.

Therefore, we conclude that either 1. you did not actually listen to the podcast, but instead heard about it from someone else, who failed to point out to you the utter discourse incompetence of the LingNerds or 2. you actually did listen to the podcast and it’s you who are incompetent to judge competence on the part of others.

If 1. is true, then we conclude that your message would have been more informative if you had marked it with a hearsay evidentialso we recommend that in the future you use a more evidential-rich language when communicating with us, such as Pinnacle Sherpa.

If, on the other hand, 2. is true, then your message is irrelevant and we recommend that you do not correspond with us in the future at all, nor with anyone else, for that matter.

We appreciate your taking time to write, though we suspect that there may not be a lot of competing demands on your time.


Dear Sirs,

I read with interest your recent article on Nuclear Linguistics. As a former nuclear linguist myself, I must take exception to your coverage of this burgeoning, yet dangerous field. Firstly, the “Boreon” has been found in several minor laboratories in the past fifteen years. Students under Prof. Michel Seeshells-Ontheseashore at the University of Rinsenspit isolated several Boreons after accelerating various untested theories on post-feminist alter-cognitive neo-existentialist translatology towards a target made of essays submitted by first year undergraduate students on the topic of 4th century literary meta-theory. Thus, it was shown that Boreons existed without any corporeal linguistic form. Of course, this has been denied by certain members of the nuclear linguistics community who only wish to isolate the Boreon using elementary phonemes.

Secondly, several environmental groups have protested at attempts to reach energies high enough to separate Morons from their surrounding “Annoyance Field”. This is mostly due to the potential risks for surrounding conference presentations where narcissistic questions may be raised to supercritical levels. I feel that your article has given insufficient consideration to these risks.

In future, it would be appreciated if you could confine your cogitations to less dangerous and controversial fields of linguistics, such as your excellent work on n-Bar theory and ruminant consonants.

With finite regards in a one-dimensional point system,

Dr. Wok Don-Twok
President, Council for Safe Linguistics Experimentation

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Dear Herr Doktor Fußgängerüberweg,

What on earth are you prattling on about? Of course a number of the “lesser” labs have claimed to have found the Boreon, but none with more than a half σ of certainty. Even the Higgs Boson got at least 6 σs. We’re going to need even more σs than that if we expect the physicists to start respecting us properly. Maybe even some capital Σs! (That’ll show those Krelboynes!)


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Speculative Grammarian accepts well-written letters commenting on specific articles that appear in this journal or discussing the field of linguistics in general. We also accept poorly-written letters that ramble pointlessly. We reserve the right to ridicule the poorly-written ones and publish the well-written ones... or vice versa, at our discretion.

Replies, Rejoinders, Retorts, and RipostesA Letter from the Managing Editor
Poetry Corner
SpecGram Vol CLXVI, No 3 Contents