Don’t Just Talk (About) the Talk—A Letter from Recursive Editor Edak Krikmah SpecGram Vol CLXXXV, No 4 Contents /nuz baɪts/

Letters to the Editor

Dear Eds,

As an Olympian deity, I am just as much up for the high jinks, capers and general merriment so ably executed in your journal as the next divinity in the pantheon. However, we gods must protect our brand and to that end I feel I should point out that it was Apollos 8 and 10 (and not 9) that achieved lunar orbit, contra your September 2019 edition.

The space programme of the 1960s would have achieved little if anything without consistent intervention from me. (Hermes also helped occasionally, in fairness.) Why do you think 13 went wrong? It wasn’t some superstitious rubbish about the number 13; I was out with Dionysus! I would be grateful, therefore, if you yourselves would demonstrate your own gratitude to me and correct this error. The sacrifice of a goat or two would also not be unappreciated.

God of the Sun (inter alia)
Mount Olympus

✢ ✢ ✢

Dear Opium,

Have a Mars bar and relax!


❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦

Dear Editors,

I recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a quadruple major in Linguistics, Linguistics, Linguistics, and Linguistics (plus a minor in Linguistics). During commencement, the Chair of the Board of Trustees actually laughed when announcing my degree, and then the University President made some cutting comment as she handed me that fake diploma thing they give you on the stage.

I’m starting to worry that my choice of majors may have been a mistake. Worse yet, my mom recently said something cryptic that might have meant she had only loaned me the $94,000 my education cost over the last 6 years.

I loved all four of my majors, and wouldn’t trade Linguistics for the world. Can you offer any words of advice or comfort in my situation?

LeDarius Jones, BA (Hons)

✢ ✢ ✢

Dear Dairylouse,

We have no comfort to give. It comes from other regions, and is conveyed by other ministers.

We do hope at least one of those four Linguistics majors included a tutorial on applying to a well-funded graduate school.


Dear sirs,

I write to apply for the position of part-time teaperson/interactional linguist advertised in your June issue. My qualifications for the position are as follows.

I have often driven through Catterton, always with only my left hand on the steering wheel. I admire its beauty and boarded-up high street but am yet to pull over and actually explore the town and its environs. Employment at the Catterton Left-Handed Institute of Linguistics would enable me to fulfil this ambition.

Although I own no cats, I do sponsor a buffalo from Buffalo, New York. Incidentally, the coincidental homophony of buffalo and Buffalo (shared also with the transitive verb to buffalo) has often suggested to me the possibility of some play on words here. Something like “Some buffalo from Buffalo which some other buffalo who are also from Buffalo have been buffaloing, are themselves buffaloing some other buffalo from Buffalo which yet another set of buffalo from Buffalo are themselves buffaloing.” Some other string based on cats might be relevant to the CLHIL: “Some catty cats from Catterton caterwaul at some other cats from Catterton.” Anyway, I digress.

As regards my contribution to interactional linguistics, my 2018 article in the International Journal of Trainers and Trainors entitled “It’s all about the ‘Mmmmm’ ”, examines the distributions, meanings and semantics of the interactional particle Mmmmm in group discussion of female teenagers regarding the artistic merits (or otherwise) of Megan Trainor lyrics. I found that Mmmmm was systematically polysemous both as a referential and interactional particle, but manifested asymmetric distribution governed by hair colour of interlocutor. I would thus consider myself competent to teach the required classes and look forward to the opportunity to expand my research into the interactional dynamics of discussions regarding Taylor Swift and Kary Perry lyrics.

As regards the role’s requirements viz tea, I am a coffee drinker myselfthe imbibement of which I find neatly offsets the effects of the cocktail of prescription drugs I take daily. I am nevertheless eager to learn the lore, mystique and logistics (in that order) of teapersonhood as relevant to the role.

Kat O’Tonne

✢ ✢ ✢

Dear Kate O’Ruh,

On behalf of the Catterton Left-Handed Institute of Linguistics, you’re hired!


❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦

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.

Don’t Just Talk (About) the TalkA Letter from Recursive Editor Edak Krikmah
/nuz baɪts/
SpecGram Vol CLXXXV, No 4 Contents