The C-Rhyme and Pun-ish-ment of St. Alvin—Jerry Fyodor & Josef Dobrovskýevsky SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents The SpecGram Inquisition—The Tables are Turned!—A probing of Inquisitor Generalis Jonathan Downie—with Inquisitor Inquisitoris Trey Jones

Labyrinths & Linguists

by Craig Kopris

While perusing the wax cylinder recordings stored at one of the major archives on the eastern seaboard (which will be left unnamed to protect the reputations of all concerned), I ran across a particular cylinder that caught my attention. Sticking out of one end was the charred remains of a wick. Curious as to why someone would attempt to destroy such a precious object (assuming, of course, that they hadn’t simply mistaken it for a defective candle), I searched the online catalog for more information. Nothing was to be found electronically, so I turned to the old card catalog. I was about to give up hope after searching without success, when I found hidden under the cards a slip of burned paper (perhaps used to light the candle?).

Although there was little left of the scrap, I was able to discern that it referred to an accidental recording of a discussion between three of our most famous linguistic forefathers, Fairtonone de Saucisson, Bedouinguie de Courtenay, and Headward Subpeer, as well as an unnamed compatriot who appeared to have the role of their mentor in linguistic description. The topic of discussion was Labyrinths & Linguists. Intrigued, I set about transcribing the recording, although unfortunately its reworking as a candle had affected its already poor quality.

Without further ado, here is a transcription of the surviving recording (for brevity, the descriptive mentor has been indicated with DM).

[begin recording]

[unclear noises]

DM: Your party enters the room and sees a wug.

Subpeer: I cast Duality of Patterning on it.

DM: Now there is another one. There are two of them. There are two [unclear due to overlap]

Saucisson: Way to go, Subpeer! You know that’s a reduplication spell. I’ll handle this. Using my +2 Blade of Parsing, I attack the... wuggen? wuggi? wuggery?

Subpeer: Wugopodes?

Saucisson: I attack the wugopodes!

[rolling dice]

DM: Success! You have cut them into discontinuous constituents.

Bedouinguie: I’ll search for Traces.

[rolling dice]

DM: You have located an Inessive Case. Unfortunately, it’s closed class.

Bedouinguie: I pry it open with my X-bar.

[rolling dice]

DM: It opens, but you have released a dreaded Dark L., which immediately attempts Bleeding and Feeding.

Bedouinguie: I retroflex out of the way.

[rolling dice]

DM: Sorry, but its proximity allows Immediate Dominance, and you are now decessive.

Subpeer: I cast Barriers in the way.

Saucisson: Blocking me, too! Way to go again! Can I use my Affix Hopping skill?

DM: No, the Barriers are too high. And while you two are busy turn-taking, the Dark L. casts Raising on Bedouinguie...

Bedouinguie: Yes! Wait, what?

DM: ...immediately followed by the power word C-Command. You are now governed and bound by it.

Subpeer: So I drop the Barriers for Saucisson.

Saucisson: And I charge with my trusty +2 Blade of Parsing.

Bedouinguie: Hey! That’s me, remember!

DM: Not to worry, Bedouinguie. The Dark L. has you use your Cloak of Calquing to borrow the Blade of Parsing and turn it back on Saucisson.

Bedouinguie: So there! I think...

Subpeer: In that case I cast Alienable Possession.

[rolling dice]

DM: Success! Bedouinguie drops the Blade of Parsing. However, while...

[end of recording]

The C-Rhyme and Pun-ish-ment of St. AlvinJerry Fyodor & Josef Dobrovskýevsky
The SpecGram InquisitionThe Tables are Turned!A probing of Inquisitor Generalis Jonathan Downiewith Inquisitor Inquisitoris Trey Jones
SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents