Sonority: A Space Elevator Story—Matthew “MattGyver” Lee SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 4 Contents SOS to the Rescue—Salphy Torque

Historical Reviews of Contemporaneous Interest

Retrieved from the SpecGram Archives by Tish O’Clair and Colin Fait

Our archives overflow with testimonials and reviews of SpecGramgood, bad, and indifferentfrom ages past up to the present. Most of the crackpots valued readers who write to us to tell us what they think of us are inconsequential nobodies just normal people, but occasionally we have gotten praise or scorn from those who turn out to be historically important figures. As such, we have decided to share some of their thoughts with you crackpots valued readers who are, like us, inconsequential nobodies just normal people.

The following reviews of SpecGram are, to the best of our knowledge, genuine, except possibly for the review by Alexander III of Macedonyou can never trust anyone with a Roman numeral in their namewhich is considered by some SpecGram scholars to be apocryphal, and by others to offer evidence antedating the founding of of SpecGram to before 1276 and/or 881. As with all things SpecGram, opinions differ.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

I read SpecGram for its wit, wisdom and wordification. I’ve been pondering philosophy while meandering around the corridors of Elsinore for years, winding up courtiers with golden come-backs like “Word, words, words,” whenever they ask annoying questions about my reading matter. With SpecGram, I have an endless trove of similarly zingy lingua-based gems to ping back at would-be conversationalists. Moreover, when friends turn up unexpectedly from Wittenburg, SpecGram helps us set the tone for our scholarly disputations, helping us avoid those potential pitfalls of conversational awkwardness. Finally, people who know me well will say, “If there’s one thing that Hamlet likes, it’s plays within plays.” True! And it’s that spirit of the meta which SpecGram delivers on issue after issue. Buy yours today, only 14 guilders from the shop just outside the palace walls.

—Hamlet, son of Hamlet

Alexander the Great

You might know me as history’s first universalist. Wherever I traipsed with my 1000s strong army, I’d imbibe the local cultural norms and sometimes even marry a local! And it’s that spirit of universalism that keeps me subscribing to SpecGram: never parochial, never elitist, SpecGram steadfastly maintains an inclusivist and cosmopolitan take on the world of words with articles, commentary, analysis and the occasional joke that celebrates the typological and disciplinarity variety of language. So, wherever I found a new Alexandria, I make sure there’s a SpecGram retail outlet somewhere in town. Speculative Grammarian, like me, it’S Great.

—Lexy the G.


I’m afraid I’ve recently unsubscribed to SpecGram after several years of loyal readershiphood. I’ll tell you why: one of my favorite maxims is “To thine own self be true” (and I won’t apologise for the antiquated pronouns: I feel they lend gravitas and resonance to the pronouncement). Anyway, that’s where I’ve fallen out with SpecGram, I’m afraid. Just occasionally, I get that slight twinge that, well, they’re just not taking themselves seriously. It’s hard to put my finger on, but the odd article, sometimes just a phrase within an otherwise sensible and sober piece, smacks of light-headed playfulness or even mimicry. So, with regret, I’ll be discontinuing my SpecGram subscription.

—Papa Polonius

William Shakespeare

People all over the world read my stuff, plays, poetry and the rest of it, but all I ever wanted to do was write for SpecGram. Unfortunately, my insistence on using iambic pentameter for all my submissions, even when asked to do an editorial, let to a bit of a tiz-woz. This resulted in a few peoplemyself included, I’ll admitbiting their thumbs at each other, and it all got a bit Montague and Capulet. Long and short of it, I stopped contributing to SpecGram and can now, alas, only think of my time at SpecGram in wistful and regretful terms while I scribble out another blockbusting tragedy or crowd-pleasing, feel-good, family entertainment comedy perched at my desk in Stratford. I wish SpecGram the bestit’s far better than my stuff if I’m going to be honestbut I do wish things had gone differently.

All best,
Big Willie.

More to come...

Sonority: A Space Elevator StoryMatthew “MattGyver” Lee
SOS to the RescueSalphy Torque
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 4 Contents