Linguimericks, Etc.—Book ३० SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 1 Contents A Sample of Self-Definers—Historical Linguistics, Etymology, and Sound Changes: Part II—The SpecGram Book Elves™

A Linguist Fine and Rare

Set to the tune of “Am I alone and unobserved” sung by “aesthetic” poet Bunthorne in Patience, or Bunthorne’s Bride, by W. S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan (1883)

Lyrics by H. Stephen Straight (2000)

Am I alone and unobserved? I am.
Then let me own: I’m a linguistic sham!

This air sincere
Is but a mere veneer!
This pensive smile
Is but a wile of guile!
This posture wise
Is but a guise of lies!

Let me confess!

A passion for abstraction does not blight me!
Tableaux and portmanteaux do not delight me!
I do not yearn for rare phonemes
By any means.
I do not live for X-bar trees
In Japanese.
I am not fond of labeling metaphors
While nibbling petits-fours.

In short, my linguisticism’s affectation,
Born of a simple need for compensation!

1st Verse
If you’re anxious for to shine
In the academic line
As a linguist fine and rare,
You must get up all the germs
Of the semiotic terms,
And plant them ev’rywhere.

You must follow all the crazes
And discourse in novel phrases
Of your complicated state of mind;
The meaning doesn’t matter
If it’s only idle chatter
Of a semiotic kind.

And ev’ryone will say,
As you walk your learnèd way,
“If this savant expresses himself in terms too deep for me,
Why, what a very singularly deep savant this deep savant must be!”

2nd Verse
Then an analytic passion
Of a dialectic fashion
Must excite your waking brain;
You’ll elaborate your “model”
Till your walk becomes a waddle
And the world thinks you’re insane!

Though the lesser dolts will jostle,
You will rank as an apostle
In the high linguistic band,
If you publish on a topic
That they say is too myopic
Till they see that work expand!

And ev’ryone will say,
As you walk your abstruse way,
“If this savant has an analytic love that would certainly wear on me,
Why, what a very single-minded, keen savant this keen savant must be!”

3rd Verse
Be eloquent in praise
Of the leaders of the maze,
Who can help you make your way.
And convince ’em, if you can,
That you are their biggest fan,
And your praise they’ll soon repay.

Of course you will pooh-pooh
Whatever’s fresh and new,
And declare it’s crude and mean,
For all that really matters
To keep your clothes from tatters
Is to see and to be seen.

And ev’ryone will say,
As you walk your fame-strewn way,
“If this savant impresses the greats whose work impresses me,
Why, what a very up-and-coming, sharp savant this sharp savant must be!”

Linguimericks, Etc.Book ३०
A Sample of Self-DefinersHistorical Linguistics, Etymology, and Sound Changes: Part IIThe SpecGram Book Elves™
SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 1 Contents