In the Letters to the Editor of your last issue, you took a letter writer to task for a fairly mild opinion about the use of lay instead of lie in a limerick, accusing your correspondent of base prescriptivism. Yet in the same collection of limericks, “Sir” Krotchet E. Auld-
Dear Ms. de Lune,
Get off our lawn!
In one of your latest screeds, you write, “Several members of the SpecGram editorial and poetical staff feel like they can rightfully levy charges of baseless prescriptivism against you.” To levy a charge means basically to impose a fine or tax and not, as you clearly intended to write, “lay charges.”
Curt “Bubbles” Stark-
Yo, Iron Bro!
No, we wrote correctly. You have heard of the wages of sin, have you not? Well, there’s income tax due on them.
That wasn’t funny!
Freshman, Cranston Community College
We thought it was.
Speculative Grammarian accepts well-
Уважаемые молодые люди:
In your recent issue, the properly anonymous spokesperson(s) for the Third Autonomous Bilborough Linguistics Circle wrote, “Historical linguistics is so cool that it even has its own name: philology...” First, I would like to point out that in fact historical linguistics is so cool it’s hot, and so hot it’s cool; in case that seems paradoxical, that is due to a failure to look at the matter both diachronically and synchronically. Second, “philology” is confused with historical linguistics mostly in British English. In Russian, филология is used as the title of the humanities faculties in general, and is by a large margin the major chosen by Russian women going to college who have no idea what they want to do with their lives. It is in fact the Russian equivalent of the Master of Residential Science (MRS) degree in the United States, which probably brings us full circle to Bilborough again.
С наилучшими пожеланиями,
Владлен Аввакумович Брик
Some Organization Not to Be Named
Somewhere Far Away From Bilborough
[Note: We decided to let the
eggheads fine scholars from TABLC answer this one for themselves. The answer below in no way reflects the views of Speculative Grammarian or its Editorial Board, lesser editors, leastest interns, greatest lawyers, other contributors, or readers. Not even the ones who agree. —Eds.]
Dear Ian D’Pendant,
We agree that the paradoxical hot coolness/
As for Russian women who don’t know what to do with their lives, co-incidentally the Third Autonomous Bilborough Linguistics Circle’s upcoming conference is entitled: “Philology: Only for Russian Women Who Don’t Know What Do to With Their Lives?” We have several Russian women who have never known what to do with their lives as keynotes, one of whom will consider entertaining the notion of moving towards the possibility of looking into the formation of a task-
On behalf of TABLC