It is with sincere and significant disappointment that I must announce that there are no Letters to the Editor in this issue of Speculative Grammarian. Despite significant investments in general literacy campaigns,1 the publication of etiquette books promoting letter writing,2 and the employment of Letters Interns,7 the quality and quantity of publishable8 letters to the editor has been in steady decline for years.
It isn’t immediately clear whether we10 at SpecGram should be perturbed or relieved. However it is clear that you, the reader, owe us some high-
1 Over 10,000,
2 Over 70,000,
3 Unfortunately, the book was printed on actual Zimbabwean “first dollars”
— the cheapest source of paper we could find when purchased at face value — which are frequently used as toilet paper4 in many parts of the world. As a result, the book is often confused with Uncle Rasmus’s Bathroom Reader, to the detriment of both publications.
4 Sadly, this isn’t even the first time this has come up in the history of SpecGram. Compare the Pernicious Toilet Paper Paucity of 1889.
5 Not to be confused with The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics, available now at fine booksellers
everywhere somewheremany wheres.
6 Originally published in 1843 in Bombay d’Or.
7 Over 99,000,
8 Our standards have never been high, though we do require that once all the expletives have been deleted, there is still a letter there.9
9 And by “a letter”, we mean more than just “U” and “r”, you texting troglodytes.
10 It also isn’t immediately clear whether we are using the Collective we,11 referring to the Editorial Board, the Royal we,14 referring to the Managing Editor, or the first/
11 Either Borg or non-
12 But either way non-
Borgesian, though possibly Fɛʀ↓ʁʘʊⓢ↑ian cyborgian or Safirian cyborg.13
13 Though in that case, only in the future-
past predictive tense.
14 While not technically royalty in the strictest sense, the Managing Editor does hold Durable Power of Attorney over all interns in 37 countries, and has been declared Benevolent Dictator for Life of the Editorial Entelechial Entity,15 which was established in 1776 in the micronation of C-Command-
15 There are rumors that the Editorial Entelechial Entity was established in response to the encroachment of the Grammar Entelechy into traditional Speculative Grammarian hunting grounds around 1760, but those claims are unfounded.16
16 Unfounded, but totally true.
Land is located on an abandoned 16th-century oyster fishing platform off the coast of Nagorno- Karabakh.
19 Please send such high-
quantity letters on high- quality organic paper without additives or preservatives. We’ve lost a few good interns20 to frostbite when they’ve wandered out into the cold after inhaling unknown intoxicants released by the burning of some quantity of low- quality high- quantity letters.
20 Obviously, there aren’t really any “good” interns. If they were “good”, they wouldn’t be “interns”, now would they? We just like to make Hollywood allusions once every six or eight years.21
21 Since the median22 of “six to eight years” is seven years, clearly further allusions must take place in Tibet.23
22 Not to be confused with the Meadian median.
23 With Brad Pitt.
24 Oh, but we do have a nice question for The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective. Maybe we should just run with that.