As many readers know, the position of Editor-
An increasingly more common5, 6, 7 profession among those linguists who have not similarly ascended to the hoi oligoi8 is that of “computational” linguist.9 While I don’t have much truck with such needlessly complex machines10 myself, one problem I frequently hear about is practitioners of NLP whinging about how hard it is to process certain natural11 languages.12 Recently one is reported to have said, “While it’s true that the Slavic languages never met an inflection they didn’t love, at least Polish has a reasonable alphabet.” Shocking!13 Well, at least they aren’t as bad as those crazy anti-
Efforts to get NLPers to tone down their grousing have been generally unsuccessful,15 so maybe it’s time for the language of the world to do their part, and try to make themselves a bit simpler, a bit more regular, and a bit less reliant on the U-Knee Code, whatever that is.16 Just yield a little bit, people
1 While I draw a merely symbolic editorial salary of $1 per annum, the big money is in stock options and endorsements.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 And of course there are the residuals from The SpecGram ⅔ Ellipsis™©.. and dividends from part ownership in certain naming rights. Income in the seven-
2 But give your child a leg up with the right name! The International Name Testing Service can help!
3 You can be a better parent, too, with Broken-
4 You can also give your young adult reader a push in the proper linguistic direction with any of the many titles in fantasy linguistics from Scholartastic Books. Or, play linguistical games with them like Carcassonorant or The Linguists of Catan. For the jaded teen who just won’t listen to you, sneak in that much needed linguistic influence with a Vowel Space DVD Boxed Set.
5 If you are old school
6 If you’ve moved beyond undergrad and your career has stalled, People with Lack of Original Research Ideas in Linguistics can give you a jumpstart!
7 On the other hand, if neither old school nor new-
8 You can conspicuously demonstrate that you have arrived with The Lingo, from Psammeticus Motors
9 You, too, can break into the lucrative world of computational linguistics with this One Weird Trick.
10 Though there are so many nifty, useful, and easy-
11 Keep it natural, folks! Should you start using constructed languages, however, Conlangers Anonymous can help you get your life back on track.
12 While computers have trouble with natural languages, humans don’t
13 You know what else is shocking? The way some people treat their data. People for the Ethical Treatment of Data believe that “All Data Deserves Good Treatment”.
14 That is something I just don’t understand
15 What they probably need is to go on a date
16 The Γραμματο-
17 And of course, by “seven figures” I mean a figure of a couple dollars here, a figure of a couple dollars there