Satirising Satire: A Plea For Help From Our Loyal Readers
A Letter from Associate Editor Deak Kirkham
After a relatively quiet spring here at SpecGram Towers, whispers of malcontent which threaten to bubble over into genuine worry are audible throughout the marble-floored corridors. Staff writers are peering over the tops of their computers with looks of consternation; the interns are visibly jumpy; the SpecGram hairdresser has handed in his notice; even the Management is spending less time in the Executive Suite-cum-Spa and more time in the Lingua-Boardroom doing what it does best: discussing things.
What could possibly be the concerns that give rise to such worry?, you naturally enquire.
Well, as the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics, we’re far from adverse to a bit of satire. We do of course prefer it if it comes to us fully dressed and ready for the prom, but generally speaking, we’re happy to keep an eye out for it, and on a good day actually seek it out and shape it up into publishable form.
Karen Stollznow, 2014, “Pet Psychics and Psychic Pets,” in Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic, Palgrave Macmillan.
Chiasmus of the Month
However, there are limits! The current worrisome looks at SpecGram Towers relate to rumours of a new satirical ezine beast on the block, a fresh-faced, brand-new publication with an overtly satirical bent! However, this is not a direct competitor as far as our understanding of the rumour-mill goes; instead, the message we’re receiving is that this new publication is set to be launched in the (even more) neglected field of the satire of satirical linguistics itself! Terrifying!
A few more details: we hear that it is tentatively entitled Meta-Grammarial Hyper-Speculativist and will be e-published monthly with a suite of up-to-date, hilarious (we doubt that) and yet thought-provoking (hardly) articles and articlettes (more the latter than the former) parodying, mocking and satirising SpecGram’s very own field. This act of near blasphemy is of course to be condemned utterly: satirical linguistics as a field is a sacred cow not only to the SpecGram team and its loyal readers, but to politicians, military leaders, A-list celebrities and Olympians—and as such is beyond the influence of the grimy hands of satire.
So, if you hear anything about this potential ezine, phone in, email, write or turn up in person ASAP. We’re not sure whether we’d be able to survive the onslaught of a monthly satirising of our hard work and although preparations are well underway in the event that this ezine is launched (sandbags at all doors, sign-in/sign-out system and additional security guards at the main portico), any additional information is welcome. Of course, it might all turn out to be so much chaff to the wind or some falsity intentionally put about by a former disgruntled staff writer. But one never knows in the mercurial world of online publishing—and SpecGram’s mission being far from over, we will fight to maintain the dignity of satirical linguistics against those who seek to satirise it.
In the meantime, however, enjoy the current issue which, as readers expect, keeps its nose clean and its trousers firmly buttoned up by restricting itself merely to the satire of linguistics and would—and will—never undertake to satirise satirical linguistics itself.