In the Immortal Words of les Immortels...—A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief SpecGram Vol CXC, No 3 Contents /nuz baɪts/

Letters to the Editor

Dear Signori,

Your recent correspondent, Karl the Thane, who argued vociferously for the post-Brexit reinstatement of the ‘Anglic’ FU runes in lieu of the Latin alphabet, fails to understand the runes themselves originated in continental Europe, possibly as an adaptation from Old Latin. As with pizza and banking, the Anglophone world seems determined to keep borrowing Italic innovations and claiming them for its own.

Giuseppe di Roma

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Dear Gus,

We’ll have a quatro formaggi at an APR of 2%.


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Dear Eds,

Please accept my apologies for the recent letter to yourselves from my over-enthusiastic former employees Craig and Dwayne regarding my bar in Crete. In addition to its strident tone, they were wrong about two things:

  1. My bar is called Cyber (not Xi Bar)
  2. I have indeed analysed sentences using abstract configurational machinery as I used to be a Professor of Syntax at Middlethorner University in the north-west of Scotland before quitting and moving out to Cretesince when I’ve never been happier.

So, if anything’s X it’s my academic career!


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Dear (Prof) Steve,

The drinks are on you!


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Dear Eds,

Re your recent Ξ-bar theory, I write to inform you that X-bar was originally discovered by Edwin the ox wrangler in 1021 outside Ely when, in a flash of insight while herding oxen over a ford one Tuesday morning, he saw that the oxen’s horns and the bar placed between each pair of oxen were a perfect visual metaphor for the abstract configurational properties of head-phrase relations. Hence the original name for the theory: Ox-Bar.

As both the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Doomsday Book note, a biennial Ox-Bar Conference was held from 1026 through to the early 14th century at a ford on the upper Thames. This is the origin of the cityand later universityof Ox-Bar Ford, abbreviated over time to Oxford.

O. K. S. Ford

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Dear Oxo Cube,

What a load of BS OS.


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Dear Editors,

I am puzzled as to why you allow to festoon the pages of your journal such rank misunderstandings as those your recent correspondents, Bibi Gunn and Scoo B Doo B Dewey’s, and on an issue of such a critical nature that every illustrator, artist and graphic designer must face it at some point in their career: 2D or not 2D? This is not an ‘aphorism’ but a profound philosophical stance with significant implications. To wit, if working in a 1D medium, all one’s output must be executed on a Möbius strip; if in 3D, it’s sculpture a la Michelangelo or nothing and if in 2D and 3D, M C Escher’s the model to follow. This is all summarised neatly in D(D)Douglas Hofstad(d)dter’s magnum opus, Möbius, Michelangelo, M C Escher, a 3M Golden Ratio. Mmm.

Finally, it seems that Deedles D’Dee being a 4D artist should have something to say about this.

Didier De Tou(louse)

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Dear Loser,

You won’t win an M-y for this one. (And while we’re at it, here’s an M(CQ) for you: as for Didier, did ’e A, B, C, D, 2D, 3D or M? You choose!)


P.S. Deedles D’Dee is on extended gardening leave after writing a poem that was critical of certain aspects of SpecGram policy. He will be unavailable for comment for the foreseeable future.

I’m Here!
By Deedles D’Dee

I’m not on leave! It’s a ruse, its a lie!
I’m as rich as ever in poetry!
So please don’t censor me or shut me down:
My poems remain rosy, rich and round.
And I’ll write ...

[This poetic transmission has been terminated. —Eds]

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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.

In the Immortal Words of les Immortels...A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
/nuz baɪts/
SpecGram Vol CXC, No 3 Contents