Clementine Clarabell Clancy-
Fliebermeister Springs, Kentucky
Your suspicions were almost perfectly correct. Actually, it was a doubly surreptitious Kiwi passing herself off as a Brit what done it. Rest assured she is being severely punished by being strapped down in a very uncomfortable armchair and forced to continuously watch the less amusing episodes of The Paul Hogan Show and the more maudlin, tedious episodes of Home and Away (which is to say, the complete run) while subsisting on a steady diet of various American fast foods and end-
I must say that this is the gravest disappointment I have experienced since I paid full price to go to the opening showing of Copland
— not only did it star Sylvester Stallone, but (arguably worse) it had nothing at all to do with the composer. Still, this bit of skulking around behind the scenes like the less talented members of an inbred aristocracy mongering rumors and jockeying for position at court is of course exactly what one would expect of such an ill- bred lot of louts. However, I urge you to retain the spellings for their symbolic value. For example, the spelling -ize hearkens back to the glories of Democratic Athens and the virtues of Republican Rome, while the -ise spelling is a typical French bastardization of the orthography foisted on English and the English after their imperialist conquest and feudal subjugation by a rootless bastard Norman who died so fat his corpse exploded in a rotten spew when being forced into its crypt; the retention of the spelling despite centuries of opportunity of reform well represents the continued adherence of the British to an outmoded political system. If the English really hated the French so much, would they suffer such a custom? No, I say, very much no.
There was more, eight lengthy paragraphs more that filled, we think, ten pages, but this is the closest to salience any of it attained, and besides, no doubt Cobb’ll get it all published, or at least in press, in an even further expanded version in the near future, so you can read it then in its full and final glory.
Many thanks for mentioning our exclusive product Scottish Dalreoch Smoked White Tea that can be enjoyed by Celticists from all over the world
Phillip De Tepaud
Digital Marketing Advisor
Fortnum & Mason
As a frequent prize winner, may I suggest giving Scottish Dalreoch Smoked White Tea as a prize? The purchase of two 20 gram packages will allow my uncle to charge more for it at his store.
Where’s the “Junk” button on this thing?
However, I found myself endlessly distracted by the monstrously infelicitous neologism beveragology. I found myself thinking that there seems to be no acceptable spelling of this word.
As it stands now, I find myself wanting to pronounce it “bevera-
Sadly, beveradgology is etymologically infelicitous in theory and probably not transparent in English orthography in practice. I found myself briefly considering beverajology, but that is just beyond the pale.
I find myself coming to an unsettling conclusion: clearly, either massive spelling reform of English is a prerequisite, or this is a field that cannot be properly studied in the English-
Professor of Fundamental Linguistics
Founders University, Newfoundland
Dear Jai and/or Alai,
Whatever, dude. Maybe you need to take a break from the stress of life and find yourself. But if you like tilting at windmills, then go ahead and try to get everyone to replace all soft g’s and c’s with dg, j, s, or ss, and the hard ones with gg and k. Let us know how that works out for you. And don’t even get us started on stinger, finger, and ginger!
It is with great sadness in our hearts and a touch of prescriptivism in our minds that we are writing to point out to you that your editors have failed to protect the linguistic heritage of future generations of English speakers. This is an utter, utter failure. Specifically, in Quing, et al.’s “Tea: Supreme Ruler of the Morphemes”, your editors allowed the noxious use of “begging the question” to mean “raising the question”, rather than the more correct “assuming the conclusion”.
With sincere sorrow,
Dear BEGgars & CHOosers,
What a very nice letter (choose any of the 12th to 14th century meanings of the word). You totally decimated (17th century) Quing, et al.’s credibility. Your argument is fantastic (late 14th century). This usage has indeed left their message quite garbled (early 15th century). They must be feeling quite silly (12th century), perhaps egregiously so (16th century).
You may consider our descriptivism quaint (12th to 14th century), but we are fond of it. Plus ça change...
Speculative Grammarian accepts well-