Diacritics and Dire Critics—Recognising the Cultural and Indexing Role of Acçèntéd Chårâctërs—Horace Hemingway SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 2 Contents Making Metalanguage Great Again—Mattie Langwich

Dear Grammy, Un Koala If-Eyed

Now “Dear Grammy” gives her honest answers to the personal and perplexing linguistics questions that bother teenagers and baffle parents.

Dear Grammy,

My husband and I have noticed our teenage son Juulius has begun to vape and we believe it has consequently affected his linguistic capacity for speech. While it could merely be the natural phenomenon of age grading, we are worried that vaping is having adverse effects on his linguistic health. Nevertheless, the symptoms that our son exhibits are of the following: high-rising intonation, proclivity to insert the particle “like” in daily parlance, development of a penchant for wearing “totally chic and latest fashion trends like, in the universe”. Although he is experiencing linguistic and non-linguistic symptoms, we assume they are connected. Please help our son before he goes vape shit crazy!


Dear Troubled,

This is an extremely sensitive matter. The U.S. Surgeon General just announced that males engaging in vape-like activity showing your son’s symptoms are experiencing the onset of neoteric linguistic disease. From my research on the subject, it appears your son presents advanced stages of reverse gender performativity and is manifesting Valley Girl Speech. Curiously enough, in teenage girls, the symptoms include reverting all speech into acronyms. A most recent case study shows 420% of all teenage girls that “hit the Juul” regularly tend to make prepositional phrases and even entire clauses into acronyms as a form of communication. A transcription of such a conversation is shown below:

Female 1: “I’m in the feels AF, IIRC you said CTN and then you totally RT’ed the meme which TBH was V not slay.”

Translation: I am feeling depressed as frick; if I remember correctly you said you can’t talk now and then you unmitigatedly retweeted the meme (funny image), which to be honest was not very classy.

Female 2: “IKIR, the meme was on fleek, it said CCEAB LOL!

Translation: “I keep it real; the meme (funny image) was quite flawless; it said “Carcinogenic Chewbacca Eclipsed Average Boogers” laugh out loud!”

The degenerative part of this linguistic disease is that as vape behavior becomes more frequent, the created acronyms become continuously ambiguous. For example CCEAB could mean “Carcinogenic Chewbacca Eclipsed Average Boogers” in context. However according to Female 1, “CCEAB” means “Chomskyans can eat a butt!” As an amateur linguist, I suggest that immediate disposal of all vape products for the sake of your son (and perhaps humanity). Worst case scenario: I recommend completely disowning your son and cutting off contact, but that is your judgment call.


Diacritics and Dire CriticsRecognising the Cultural and Indexing Role of Acçèntéd ChårâctërsHorace Hemingway
Making Metalanguage Great AgainMattie Langwich
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 2 Contents