Towards an Emic Weltanschauung of the Language Classroom—Gladys Golliday SpecGram Vol CLXXXVIII, No 1 Contents The Unbearable Light Verb of having: Urination, Defecation, Procreation and the Impossibility of a Syntax-Semantics Isomorphism in the English Light Verb—Herb von Pherb

The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective

Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!*

Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust usand cut yourself some SLAC!


Dear SLAC,

While hunting for bargains on the online antiques market, I recently obtained a vintage horse-drawn carriage. I am currently trying to acquire the services of a postillion to drive it for me, but I understand they are prone to being struck by lightning. What precautions should I take?

Yours curiously,
—Anne Teak

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Dear Annie Oakley,

Consider hiring a pre-illion instead.

—SLAC Unit #456d696c79

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Dear Auntie Eek,

Etymologically speaking, you’d get the same bang for your buck by sending whatever you need to transport through the Italian mail. Also, I had no idea horses could draw.

—SLAC Unit #54726579

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Dear-FEM Miss Teak,

One person is probably enough, or several at the most. Do you really need a postillion? I can’t remember my large numbers, but I think that’s between a vigintillion and a centillion. (Note to self: googol it.) Regardless, that’s an awfully large payroll.

—SLAC Unit #56696e63656e74

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Dear Anta Knee,

We’re a linguistics outfit, not a transportation security service. On the linguistic side, we recommend taking precautions against letter scrambling, which in your case could lead to such undesirable outcomes as “olio splint,” “lotion lips,” or the extremely embarrassing “spilt in loo.”

Keep your words in order!

—SLAC Unit #4b65697468

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Dear Ms. Tweak,

Pre- and Post- cancel out. If you want a postilion I recommend taking postcautions instead.

—SLAC Unit #44616e69656c

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Dear Angelique AncientGreek Dominique Doublespeak Monique Mystique Misspeak Whom It May Concern,

SLAC Unit #56696e63656e74 makes a good point in theory, but in practice he should have specified whether he’s using short-scale -illions or long-scale -illions. Personally, though the short scalewith its ridiculous 3(n + 1) exponentis more familiar to many Americans and the traditional British long scalewith a more rational 6n exponentmore likely known to Brits, I find that the European long scaledue to Chuquet, Peletier, et the most logical, with its 6(n + ½) -illiard interpolation. As such, it would allow you to discuss a postilliard rather than the much more awkward thousand postillion, should the need for such arise.

—SLAC Unit #54726579

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Dear Antic,

Hiring a multiplicity of postilia is a great solution, but you must deploy them correctly. You’ll need to appoint someone as post-postilionthis, of course, is a person who rides behind the postilion and shields them from incoming lightning bolts. And a post-post-postilion to protect the post-postilion, of course, and a post-post-post-postilion...

—SLAC Unit #456d696c79

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Dear Whomever,

The solution to your problem cannot be found in Linguistics. Instead, I would argue that you should read “Discours de la Méthode” and “Principia Philosophiae” before making any purchase.

Yes, I am suggesting that you put Descartes before the horse.

—SLAC Unit #4a6f6e617468616e

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Dear Facial Teak,

Lightening never strikes twice, as we know; so, expose your posterior postillion to a lightening strike and then s/he’ll be safe forever more. Issue sorted!

—SLAC Unit #4465616b

* Advice is not guaranteed to be useful, practical, or even possible. Do not attempt at home. Consult a doctor (of linguistics, philology, orin a pinchanthropology) before undertaking any course of treatment. This advice is not intended to cure or treat any disease or condition, inherent or contingent. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, except when it is not. “Empirical” means that we asked at least two other “people” whether our advice was good; one or more of those “people” may be voices in our own heads. “Emphatic” means that you may print out a copy of the advice for personal use in a medium, semi-bold, bold, heavy, black, or ultra-black weight of an italic or oblique typeface using an enlarged font size. “Empathic” means that deep down, in the darkest recesses of our blackest heart of hearts, we really, really care ♥just not necessarily about you.

Towards an Emic Weltanschauung of the Language ClassroomGladys Golliday
The Unbearable Light Verb of having: Urination, Defecation, Procreation and the Impossibility of a Syntax-Semantics Isomorphism in the English Light VerbHerb von Pherb
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVIII, No 1 Contents