Great Linguistics Movies and Their Famous Lines—Part I—The SpecGram Editorial Board SpecGram Vol CLXXII, No 3 Contents Bestsellers of 2014—Announcement from Panini Press

Plagiarism Uncovered in SpecGram Pages

The Linguistic Inquirer

Pursuant to the terms of the pre-litigious resolution of Grammar Entelechy v. Speculative Grammarian1 the editors of SpecGram have recently disclosed the truth about the academically distasteful practices by which the allegedly “esteemed”2 journal foists its linguistic and paralinguistic agenda on the profession.

Of particular concern is Speculative Grammarian3’s long-running, recurring, and well-documented theme that languages, dialects, and grammars can be or become degenerate.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

The summary of the legal complaint reads thus:

ComplainantMr. Hieronymous Wilte, Managing Archon of the Grammar Entelechyhas alleged against the other parties defendant to this suitsaid boards editorial and directorial of Speculative Grammarian, boards editorial and directorial of the X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies, various and sundry known and unknown employees, contractors, sub-contractors, and hemi-demi-semi-sub-contractors of both institutions, as well as D. T. R. O’Rait, D. Bauch, W. N. DeKay, D.-D. Cyntacks, and D. A. D’Cadence individually and severallymultiple counts of grievous academic harm, felonious plagiarism, breach of warranty–expressed, breach of warranty–implied, breach of contract–social, as well as multiple miscellaneous misdemeanors too multitudinous to mention; so claiming harm both personal and individual as well as collective and societal and therefore entitlement to compensatory damages, hedonic damages, bereavement damages, special damages, punitive damages, speculative damages, grammatical damages, and mostest and bestest double superlative interest on all damages.

At issue is the undisputed fact that on two separate occasions Speculative Grammarian did knowingly18 publish articles, written under the auspices of the X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies, each with the apparent core tenet and explicit introductory statement that...

... [s]ince the 1950s, linguistics has been wild with excitement over Chomsky’s insights, collectively known as “generative grammar.” As all non-linguists know, however, grammar as speakers encounter it in daily life is actually degenerative. (O’Rait, et al., 201320 and Cyntacks, et al., 201521)

Wilte et al. report that they were able to detect this plagiaristic degeneration with the Copytron 3000, a special-purpose 1.05 yotta-flop system with over one million and one compute sockets and at least one more than several exabytes of memory. Taking advantage of recent advances in big data,22 natural language processing, and distributed cloud computing, the Copytron 3000 can detect and distinguish copyright infringement, plagiarism, cultural appropriation, homage, pastiche, thesaural substitution, and unauthorized translation. The Copytron 3000’s service-oriented horizontally- and vertically-scaled cloud-as-a-service architecture allows it to scan the Deep Web and the Internet of Things, using a RESTful MapReduce to compare all text against a heavily sharded database of known works in order to bring the worst offenders to justice.

Artist’s rendering of the Copytron 3000 “NLP-in-the-Cloud” architecture.

The Editorial Board of Speculative Grammarian has publicly denied any and all wrongdoing, illegality, or evil intent, instead shifting the bulk of the blame to the X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. They even went so far as issue a press release in order to heap praise on the “SpecGram Editorial Originality Commission,” which purportedly oversees efforts to detect plagiarism, lack of rigor, and the recycling of ideas in the guise of the formalism du jour. While such efforts seem laudable, the only member of the S.G.E.O.C. is Mr. Arkhibuldinho Rasputinsky McFudgment, who seems to have been on permanent disability leave since 2007.

The farce continues with a prepared statement from Coöper A. Shinn, ostensibly the XQK Public Relations Officer, but also a known shill and fawning SpecGram fanboy:

We at XQK take collaboration seriously, and our senior contributors brainstorm ideas collectively, and then boil down the ideas into writing prompts that are distributed to internal research teams and occasionally to contractors. Due to a scheduling software glitch, this particular writing promptthe allegedly “plagiarized” portion of the articles in questionwas marked as incomplete and wildly overdue. We outsourced it to a contractor in Hyperborea. We are proud of and stand behind the content of both articles; however, we will be launching an internal investigation into our scheduling software procurement processes, our contracting processes, and our anti-auto-plagiarism safeguards to ensure that we follow industry-leading best practices. We will also reserve the right to rightsize key actors in the current difficulties. We ask for the forgiveness of the good people of the linguistics community in these trying times.

Of course this drivel hides the fact that XQK outsources to known Hyperborean sweatshops that crank out exactly the kind of resume-padding publications that attract more contracts that can be so outsourced. Sources deep inside the Grammar Entelechy have revealed that although XQK will pay hefty finesin excess of seven figuresit is clear that they consider it to be just part of the cost of doing business, easily offset by the revenue those very penalty-incurring publications produce.

Shortly after a settlement was reached in this matter, XQK quietly announced that over a dozen of its staff had recently been inducted into the Citation Index Hall of Fame, while Hyperborean officials have legally changed the definition of an academic publication sweatshop to be a “centre23 of research24 excellence”.

1 Made available to select journalistic entities such as ours by the brave and good people at LingiLeaks.

2 Supposedly as much as 91.5% of the time. For the remaining portion of the time, the journal is reportedly “august”.

3 And others of their ilk. See footnote 4.

4 F. Kazinzcy (1990), “Letter to the Editor”, Babel Vol I, No 3.

5 F. de Saucisson (1993), “Grammaticalization in an Inflationary System of Signs”, SpecGram, Vol CXLVII No 4.

6 N. Balbulus (1998), “Phonological Theory and Language Acquisition”, SpecGram, Vol CXLVIII No 2.

7 J.-P. Mots-Passants (2004), “Letter to the Editor”, SpecGram, Vol CXLIX No 3.

8 B. Bubo, T. Tyto, S. Strix, and A. Asio (2007), “A Possible Prional Source for Linguistic Degeneration from Prolonged Ailuric Exposure”, SpecGram, Vol CLIII, No 1.

9 C. Searsplainpockets (2007), “The Laziest Language on Earth”, SpecGram, Vol CLIII, No 2.

10 M. Cruz-Ferreira (2008), “The Bilemma in the Bilingual Brain”, SpecGram, Vol CLIV, No 4.

11 S. McG, R. Co-ar-tick, and B.-b. Sprachbund (2010), “Not Even Wrong”, SpecGram, Vol CLX, No 3.

12 M. Cruz-Ferreira (2011), “A comment on Mr Slater’s (be)musings on Pinnacle Sherpa”, SpecGram, Vol CLXII No 2.

13 L. Person (2011), “Ask Mr Linguistics Person”, SpecGram, Vol CLXIII No 2.

14 B. Tyd-Laika and T. C. Durnford (2013), “The Nasal Tone: An Honest Tale”, SpecGram, Vol CLXVI No 2.

15 The SpecGram Archive Elves™ (2013), “From the Archives!A SpecGram Devotional Scroll”, SpecGram, Vol CLXVII No 1.

16 T. Jones (2014), “It’s a Doʊɡ-Eat-Doge World”, SpecGram, Vol CLXIX No 4.

17 SpecGram Wire Services (2014), “Académie Française Has Banned Conlanging, Again”, SpecGram, Vol CLXIX No 4.

18 And almost certainly with malice aforethought.19

19 “Allegedly.”

20 D. T. R. O’Rait, D. Bauch, and W. N. DeKay (2013), “Degenerative GrammarOur Current State of Linguistic Degradation”, SpecGram, Vol CLXVI No 4.

21 D.-D. Cyntacks & D. A. D’Cadence (2015), “Degenerative Grammar”, SpecGram, Vol CLXXII No 2.

22 Really big data. Like, “huge tracts of land” big.

23 One of these centres of research excellence published a study last year demonstrating that “center” was up to 37% less prestigious than “centre”.

24 /rɪˈsɜːtʃ/Another study out of a Hyperborean centre of research excellence has similarly found a 29% increase in renown for doing /rɪˈsɜːtʃ/ rather than /ˈriː.sɜrtʃ/.25

25 Those Hyperboreans really do their homework!26

26 Or, for a fee, your homework.

Great Linguistics Movies and Their Famous LinesPart IThe SpecGram Editorial Board
Bestsellers of 2014Announcement from Panini Press
SpecGram Vol CLXXII, No 3 Contents