A Lamentable Llacuna of Lady Llinguists—A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 1 Contents /nuz baɪts/

Letters to the Editor

To who(m) it may concern,

I am most pleased to see that you have taken up interest in the entirely unexplored field of English plural morphology (O’Moarfz, CLXXXI.2 and Κυβιχησκιῐ, CLXXXI.3), as my associates and I have a question of some urgency: what is the plural of mongoose? Our department has been literally paralyzed by a dispute over that question, and meanwhile the invasive mongeese continue to devastate our fair island. A large horde thereof have currently surrounded our building and are gnawing at the doors, so please answer soon.

Jeff Gef
Department of Zoology and Pest Control
University of Hawaii

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To whom the previous missive concerned,

Please excuse the inexcusable ignorance of my colleague. Mongeese? Seriously? They aren’t waterfowl, Jeff. What’s next, mongoopodes? All educated people know that the correct plural is

[The rest of the letter is torn and obscured by bloodstains.]

Rick E. Tick-Itavvy
Department of Zoology and Pest Control
University of Hawaii

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Clearly the wise choice is to stay out of Hawaii and this debate.


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Speculative Grammarian accepts well-written letters commenting on specific articles that appear in this journal or discussing the field of linguistics in general. We also accept poorly-written letters that ramble pointlessly. We reserve the right to ridicule the poorly-written ones and publish the well-written ones... or vice versa, at our discretion.

Dear (I assume) Biped:

In your editorial on psychological reality and fake news, you wrote,

As for longer-term predictions, let us first making the obvious parallels: the role of the more structurally powerful yet intellectually vapid generativists is played by Republicans, the less powerful and ineffectual functionalists by Democrats, the virtually irrelevant structuralists perhaps by Libertarians, and chief blowhard Chomsky by Trump. (The fact that both Chomsky and Trump would each despise being analogized to the other is just icing on the wannabe authoritarian cake.)

That is utterly ridiculous. The generativists are the Whigs, the functionalists are the Democrats, the structuralists are the Know-Nothing Party, and the chief blowhard is either Millard Fillmore or Emperor Joshua Norton. No, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s your job to fix, not mine. It’s your comparison, after all.

Gracie Allen, IV
Surprise Party
It’s in the bag!

P.S. I liked your folk etymologies in the same issue. They were indeed really folked up.

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Dear Ms. Allen,

Our general disgust with both linguistic politics and political linguistics has convinced us to throw our support behind your Surprise Party. Unconditionally! 100%! Without reservation!

[Note that the views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the Editors of SpecGram and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Editors of SpecGram. —Eds.]

Good Night, Gracie!

P.S. There are more folked up etymologies in this issue!

A Lamentable Llacuna of Lady LlinguistsA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
/nuz baɪts/
SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 1 Contents