Summum Ius, Summa Iniuria—A Message from the SpecGram Editorial Board SpecGram Vol CLXXXVI, No 4 Contents University News

Letters to the Editor

Dear Dud(e)s,

I was tickled by your recent multi-whinge series on reasons not to become a linguist. I appreciate the difficulty of raising adequate barriers to entry to make sure enough jobs are left unfilled that the powers that be have no alternative but to hire you, but really, why go to all that trouble? Your personalities are good (bad) enough for that as it is. Just keep publishing!

All the best,
Felicity Verity Cunningham

✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢

Dear Ms. Frivolity Verbosity Chrysanthemum,

jɔɹ ʌɡli ænd jɝ mʌðɚ dɹɛsɪz ju fʌni. ↀ͡r̪͆!


❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦

Dear Eds,

Good morning, ladies and gentleman and how y’all doin’? I happen ta been a-readin’ your periodical recently and chanced to encounter, as it were, a missive from the Royal Society for the Protection, Promotion and Promulgation of Precise Punctuation which contained both the lexeme ‘typographised’ and the term ‘period’ to denote the sentence-final punctuation mark.

“We don’t want another War of 1812 around here!”

May I point out that, aside from its awkwardness as a lexeme, ‘typographised’ is written in British English Oxford style with the morpheme ‘-ise’, not in standard American English ‘-ize’. This sits alongside the term ‘period’ which typically belongs to American English.

Now, I ain’t sayin’ that y’all gotta use the lingo of the Home of the Free and the Land of the Brave. However, it behooves one to select either British English or American English in one’s publication, wouldn’t you agree? We don’t want another War of 1812 around here!

Yours sincerely,
Randy St John Smythe
British-American Society for the Establishment of Linguistic
Idiosyncrasy and Non-intersectionality in English (BASELINE)

✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢

Dear Rhonda,

You got it! Have a great day! / Many thanks for your kind letter the content of which have been duly noted. With warm regards etc.


❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦

Dear Editors,

I note with extreme displeasure that you once again have made “improvements” to your Speculative Grammarian which any rational editorial board would have rejected out of hand, as they constitute not progress, but rather descent into disarray, confusion, and, as it were, anarchy.

I refer, of course, to the new format on your letters page.

“You have thus ensured the demotion of some letters so far down the page that the last one will be unread by anyone at all.”

This new layout (which was doubtless heaved upon you by a highly-paid web consultant in the name of “web responsivity” or some similar pablum) is no step forward. No it is not. Rather than a comfortable double-column, in which nearly all letters are visible at once, you have thus ensured the demotion of some letters so far down the page that now you essentially guarantee that the last one in each issue will be unread by anyone at all. This is a disservice to your letter writers, in the extreme. Worse, it is a disservice in the ur-extreme to your readers, who will now be denied the pleasure of reading what is typically the only redeeming part of your journalor else consigned to repetitive stress injuries if they try to find the valuable nuggets which your ineptitude will surely allow to sink to the bottom of the page.

Please reverse this atrocity, and return to the pleasing double-column format which I, my mother, and my grandfather before her have found so comforting for Lo! these many years.

(If you feel like aiming for an improvement, rather than just restoring the status quo, you could even opt for triple columns. But I hardly dare to suggest the elegance of the triptych to such utter barbarians as yourselves.)

Yours in despair,
Felix Frederich Ahnsworthy-Blackenschmidt de Avila
University of Upper Volta (Columbia, Missouri Campus)

✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢

Dear Feel Good Freddy,

What more can we say than what the layout team has already said?


❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦

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.

Summum Ius, Summa IniuriaA Message from the SpecGram Editorial Board
University News
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVI, No 4 Contents