“Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics”—by Trey Jones—Reviewed by Sheri Wells-Jensen SpecGram Vol CLXXI, No 1 Contents “Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill”—by J–––– J––––––—Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer

“New speech disorder linguists contracted discovered!”
by Yreka Bakery

From Speculative Grammarian CLI.2, April 2006

Reviewed by April May June
2nd Grade English Teacher
John Gower Elementary School
Girdleblossom, Indiana

I was assigned to read this article in our summer teacher training reboot camp, as we call it, supposedly to make us better English teachers, and I didn’t understand it at all and didn’t see what the point was either, since I teach normal kids, not special learners. Now, yes, before you get all uppity on me, all our learners are special dears, but some are more special than others, and yes, all our learners are normal, but some are more normal than others, so lay off. Besides, it goes against current pedagogical theory to make teachers learn much more than their students. The most important trait a teacher can have is empathy with her students (or his students, not that any of my him-teachers were any good at that), and the best way to build empathy is for a teacher to be able to experience exactly the same apprehension at learning something new as her students, and if I didn’t panic when having to explain predicate nouns I wouldn’t be a very empathetic teacher now, would I?

Unfortunately, despite this perfectly acceptable argument, I was not excused from reading this essay, and we all just sat there staring at each other and avoided looking at the instructor, who seemed to have a pretty serious headache the way she kept her face in her hands, so I guess she was pretty empathetic. High marks for that anyway. Finally she said, “Just try it, okay?” and that geeky 4th grade teacher on the other side of the room said, “Do or not do, there is no try,” and that made me think of Yoda and reminded me of the time in linguistics class we had to diagram Yoda’s sentences, though of course being all up-to-date and modern we actually drew trees, and I thought, “Hey, maybe it’s Yoda!” Then I realized, “No, Yoda wasn’t that hard to understand,” so I started doodling trees and suddenly figured out how the problem works. It’s so cool! And the best thing is, I completely forgot it by the next day, so I’m all ready to teach it to my students in the fall. Yay, me!

“Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics”by Trey JonesReviewed by Sheri Wells-Jensen
“Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill”by J–––– J––––––Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer
SpecGram Vol CLXXI, No 1 Contents