All dozing off, zoning or zenning out,
We sat with unreadable grin or pout,
For by then we had learned
That the class always turned
Our old certainties into impending doubt.
I’ve known my share of academics.
There’s insight—but more often polemics.
And in lieu of ideas
Some just fix on careers
And are less fun than morphophonemics.
By pedants we’ve often been taught,
Young people don’t speak as they ought.
But those who’re afraid
That our tongue has decayed
Just repeat what old Cicero thought.
The Point of Articulation
The man with his bilabial trills
Had aspirations in creating drills.
With tongue retroflexed
He’d read through the text,
And thus showing phonetics gives thrills.
Old Georg Wenker, the
Sprachatlas writer and
Fan of the Rhine,
Used biased methods for
Isogloss maps are where
I draw the line!