A Logo for Linguistics—A Letter from Logographical Editor E’Kad K’Kamhir SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 1 Contents Linguists on the Loose—B. Zerk and D. Mented—SpecGram Wire Services

Letters to the Editor

Dear Eds,

Your recent transatlantic correspondent used the phrase ‘Home of the Free and the Land of the Brave’. While ostensibly a citizen of or at least resident in the United States of America, your correspondent blatantly reverses the standard order of the conjuncts in the well-known phrase ‘Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free’.

“Where would society be if we all went around asking for pepper and salt on our chips and fish?”

While this of course communicates, it fails to adhere to basic principles of binomials. Where would society be if we all went around asking for pepper and salt on our chips and fish (which we then endeavoured to eat with our forks and knives)? How would civilisation endure if mixed sex gatherings of businesspeople were addressed as ‘Gentlemen and ladies’ before a lecture on ‘services and goods’? Let’s get our binomials in order please.

Niamh N. Tidy and May Kenbrake ↔ May Kenbrake and Niamh N. Tidy

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Dear Stuff and Nonsense,

We accept that it’s part and parcel of the ebb and flow of editing a spic and span journal such as ours to receive fire and brimstone emails jam-packed with dos and don’ts from the so-called high and mighty. We also accept that this requires us to engage in some back and forth correspondence on ostensibly life and death issues which most of the time seem to us cut and dried instances of froth and bother mountains out of molehills.

Our response is black and white: your nickel and dime letter is out and out old and grey huff and puff. If our correspondents’ only sin is an odds and ends error of style, we will leave them in peace and quiet and we’d like you to the same for us.

In summary: cease and desist with this rag, tag and bobtail jot-and-tittle-obsessed tittle tattle!

Over and out!

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Dear Eds.,

It is unfortunate that officials ignored the warnings of my fellow ophthalmologists. For speakers of Sinitic varieties, this coronal virus makes it nearly impossible to communicate. I encourage my fellow conlang enthusiasts to make donations of auxlangs without coronal consonants.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. L. L. Białystok

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Dear Dr. Hope,

“The Linguistic Pandemic Interns™ are much more concerned about the spread of English.”

The insights of an Ocular Oracle of Ersatz Oracy such as yourself are always appreciated, but perhaps phonetics and epidemiology just aren’t your specialties? The SpecGram Linguistic Pandemic Interns™ are much more concerned about the modern and historical unchecked spread of English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Mandarinand so should you be!


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Dear Eds,

If the ‘thoughts’ of recent contributor, Dr Francis McCrirrickson-O’Smythe, are anything to go by, all we need to do to roll out a decent linguistics degree programme is drop a bunch of 18 to 21-year olds in a laundromat and ask ’em to make some analogies.

“There’s a touch more to linguistics than damp y-fronts and dripping teatowels.”

Of course I’m aware (or should I say, may have heard it on the grapevine) that at institutions certainly not my own, there may have been certain isolated examples of linguistics tutors who may have done that instead of delivering a course on cognitive linguistics as required. But I do think there’s a touch more to linguistics than damp y-fronts and dripping teatowels and that most disciplinary panels would agree.

Professor Sir Frederick (Freddie) ‘Hunglemungle’ McCrirrickson-O’Smythe OBE FRSEL (no relation; definitely no relation; certainly not older brother; or younger for that matter; or any kind of brother; or any kind of relationas originally stated)
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Languages
University of Camford

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Dear Drippy,

You’re a washout!


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Dear linguists of the speculative persuasion,

I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for your Logical Fallacies for Linguists. Family get-togethers and faculty meetings were fun enough once I became a linguist, but this feature allows me to rule the roost like the cock of the walk or the fox in the henhouse.

Gavagai Fjordish

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Dear Collection of Undetached Glacial Inlet Parts,

“The cock of the walk recoils at your mixture of expressions.”

The cock of the walk recoils at your mixture of expressions. We, however, are impressed by your seemingly effortless, virtuosic production of five nearly consecutive definite non-referential NPs, and we want to encourage you to make this the central piece of data in an article for the journal Constructions and Frames.


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Dear Eds,

As aspiring writers of rip-off musicals, we were inspired by your recent editorial ‘A Name by Any Other Name’. We see this as the starting point for a new musical modelled on the hit show Les Misérables. This would be the story of a highly successful career academic in linguistics who falls on hard times due to impersonal and inexorable social forces, and ends up writing doggerel for an online satirical journal.

“We fear you may be living in a castle on a cloud.”

We have already written the first line of the first song for this sure-fire hit show which runs thus:

I named a name in time gone by

Pretty good, huh? This of course is modelled on the third line of the chorus from Master of the House from the aforementioned musical.

If collaboration on this seems of interest, please feel free to complete the remaining lines of the musical and then get in touch.

Les (Miss) O’Rubble; Joe ’n’ Val John
Tel: 24601

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Dear Dreamers,

We fear you may be living in a castle on a cloud.


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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.

A Logo for LinguisticsA Letter from Logographical Editor E’Kad K’Kamhir
Linguists on the LooseB. Zerk and D. MentedSpecGram Wire Services
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 1 Contents