The SpecGram Inquisition—The Tables are Turned!—A probing of Inquisitor Generalis Jonathan Downie—with Inquisitor Inquisitoris Trey Jones SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents

L’Ishing du Gwujlang VPhicorthogra

by Dorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf
with additional assistance from Elyse Seely and Alene Neale

Observant readers will already be conversant with l’ishing from our prevenient research (SpecGram CLXXII.2, etc.). Though giving the impression of being parallel to French verlan, l’ishing couples actual words that can be made to align with one another. Earlier we have looked at dialects of l’ishing that are based on sounds; however, we have recently come across a new dialect, called phicorthogra, that is based on spelling. For example, alloy and loyal can be used in place of one another, as in “Check out the new loyal rims I got for my Pinto!”, or “You can trust that guy, he’s very alloy.

As with l’ishing, phicorthogra words in general cannot be worked out very quickly, so glossaries have been assembled for newcomers. However, words are not itemized in the glossaries, only mnemonically merged definitions (MMDs). For example:

a faithful amalgam (referring to a loyal alloy)

We have obtained a small number of these phicorthogra MMDs, and seek your help in deducing the partnered words they refer to. (Note that one of these MMDs may actually form a trio!) The MMDs are provided below.

In order to increase the response rate from SpecGram readers, The SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ have agreed to treat this as a puzzle. Submit your answers to the editors of SpecGram by July 15, 2015, and you could win a prize.* Some most likely correct answers and winners will be announced in the August issue.


Your dialect and/or transcription system may vary.

The answers to May’s Trickle Down Linguonomics puzzle are: ear, tree, text, meter, trace, sarcasm, laxness, laryngeal, etymology, monophthong, conjugation. Each of the following puzzlemeisters will receive some highly-coveted SpecGram merch:

Anders HornOphir LifshitzVirginia Bouchard

In addition, we’d like to extend the olive branch of honorable mention to Tanjam Jacobson. Thanks to all who entered!

* Note that SpecGram Anti-Hoarding Guidelines stipulate that puzzle-related prizes cannot be won by anyone who has won a puzzle-related prize in the last three monthsthough honor, fame, and glory may still be seized on the metaphorical field of puzzle-related battle.

Except where taxed, prohibited by law, or otherwise restricted, constrained, limited, regulated, controlled, hindered, impeded, hampered, obstructed, checked, curbed, shackled, confined, or otherwise subject to thesaural interference.

The SpecGram InquisitionThe Tables are Turned!A probing of Inquisitor Generalis Jonathan Downiewith Inquisitor Inquisitoris Trey Jones
SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents