SpecGram Vol CLXVII, No 3 Contents Letters to the Editor

We Shall Reap the Physicists

A Letter from the Managing Editor

They that sow the physics envy, shall reap the physicists. The article has no linguistics; it will produce no truth. Were it to yield insight, hard scientists would swallow it up.

—The Scroll of Dwynwyn Gwythyr, Chapter 8, Verse 7.

Alas, my friends, I fear that the End Times™ may be upon us. There has been a Disturbing Trend, of late, of Physicistsreal and proverbial (including Biologists and other invaders from the Hard Sciences)making incursions into Linguistics, with their Virus Models and their Naive Glottochronology and their Spurious Correlations between Vowel Inventory Sizes and Physical Distances from Africa.

Charles Kraitsir, 1854, Glossology: being a treatise on the Nature of Language and on the Language of Nature. Second edition. Charles B. Norton.

Chiasmus of the Month
June 2013

It is clear from the teachings of Dwynwyn Gwythyr and the warnings of Typhon, “The Deletor”, that we have brought this Scourge upon ourselves through our Envy of Physics and Physicists, our Prideful Desire to emulate their Ways, and our Coveting of their Prestige.

We have upset the Natural Order of Things. In the Beginning there were the Sciences and the Humanities, and the twain did not mix, except at the University Mixer, and it was good. Then came the re-branding as the “Social Sciences”, and the Numeracy and the Statistics and the Predictive Theory, and it seemed all right, for there were Predictions and Experiments and Tables of Numbers that were inarguably numericalthough perhaps Subject to Interpretation. Alas, the Descriptive and the Observational did suffer, but the Science was less Soft, and our Pride was Swollen and Turgid.

Somewhere along the Garden Path, brothers and sisters, our Field became too inviting. The Physicistsreal and proverbialsaw that the Humanities Social Sciences were Not Entirely Icky, and that Linguistics in particular was Less Icky than many others, and that, “Hey, we all Know a language, and thus Language.” Like Locusts they have come to Plague us.

Does anyone know how to Perform a Hard Science Exorcism?

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CLXVII, No 3 Contents