Dependency Length Minimisation—Anna Gram SpecGram Vol CLXXIV, No 1 Contents Uncountable Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

G. Ricean Maxims for the Earnest Researcher

by Paul G. Rice

1. The Maxim of Brevity

Use no more and no fewer words than are necessary to ensure that, by the end of your paper or talk, your reader or hearer has forgotten what you said at the start.

2. The Maxim of Manner

Ensure that it is entirely clear to your readers or hearers that you know exactly what you are doing and they have no idea what you did.

3. The Maxim of Quantity

All data that problematises your initial assumptions can and should be accidentally lost. The same applies to data that would a) make your funders look bad b) make your supervisor or boss look bad and c) make an established theory that you actually like look bad.

4. The Maxim of Relation

No theory should ever bear any relation to real life.

5. The Maxim of Quality

Nothing is true until a theorist has messed up trying to explain it.

6. The Maxim of Fieldwork

The further your field site is from a Starbucks, the less chance anyone will ever attempt to verify your data.

7. The Maxim of Responsibility

One never refers to “informants” but instead to “those people who, for nothing more than chocolate and an anonymised mention in an appendix no one will read, will supply me with data that will launch my career.”

8. The Maxim of Impact

Every academic book should be weighty enough to cause brain injury if thrown at anyone who dares to give it a bad review. Sharp corners are an added bonus.

9. The Maxim of Indeterminacy

If all research is relative, your granddaughter will get a better paid job than you.

10. The Maxim of Completeness

If you only have enough content to fill fifty pages and you are being paid for seventy, you can always write twenty pages of rambling nonsense. {file corrupted beyond this point}

Dependency Length MinimisationAnna Gram
Uncountable Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira
SpecGram Vol CLXXIV, No 1 Contents