SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 1 Contents Letters to the Editor

We, Like, Need You!

Acquisitions Editors Symantha “Symmie” Lee, Luke Lake, and Needy McNeedles

We need your voice. Like the /s/ in house under pluralization, we need your voice. Like Ursula in The Little Mermaid, we need your voice. When a ball went smashing through a window at our annual softball game1 and we tried to explain what happened, we were divided on what to do. “We broke your window”, suggested by our more active contributors, was too much of an admission of guilt, and “Your window was broken”, suggested by our more passive writers,2 was sure to invite difficult questions, such as “By whom?”3 We needed your wisdom to find a middle voice and simply state that “The window broke”, cleanly encapsulating the Zen-like reality that the window has always been permanently broken and that you should count yourself fortunate to have spent so much time with it in its fleeting unbroken state.4

Lintao Qi, 2018, “Translation of Sex and Sexual Translations,” in Jin Ping Mei English Translations: Texts, Paratexts, and Contexts, Routledge.

Chiasmus of the Month
September 2021

Like a Sinitic language, we need your tone. Most of our writers are clearly high. We’re sure you can come up with a better pitch.

Like voiceless stops for most native English speakers, we need your aspiration. Our contributors haven’t aspired to write anything good since 1935.5 Like an ingressive consonant, we need your inspiration.6 Our writers turn in such insipid ideas that we involuntarily produce bidental percussives. While we can’t quite bring ourselves to hoping for their expiration, we are reaching out to you in desperation.

Like an incomplete phrase with ambiguous syntactic categorization, we need your head. You don’t want to know where our current writers’ heads are.

Like an inclusive pronoun, we need you. Like q, we need u. Like during our university days when we were taking linguistics classes and we drew all those funny-looking trees, we need yew.7

Unlike Richard III’s winter, we need your contentin fact, we have a table for it.8 Like a phonologist, we need your features. Don’t worry: They don’t have to be distinctive; our current features (and their authors) certainly aren’t! Like an alphabet, our editor needs your letters. Like a graphologist, we need your manuscripts. Like a virologist studying the prevalence of kissing disease, we need your monographs. Like text missing the words a(n) and the, we need your articles. Our current writers definitely lack determination.

We’re not asking you do a superlative job. We understand that you need to reserve your most biting satire to be published by MIT Press. Like the word better, we’re only asking you to do a comparatively good job. A half-assed article is a strong favorite to get published. Like a simile, we need even your two-fifths–assed material, but like Juvenile employing responsible practices for computer usage before going to a Tom Steyer rally, we ask you to back that as up.

To put it minimally, if you’d like to Merge with us, we’ll Agree. What we’re saying is that if you think like us, and you think you’d like us, we’ll probably like you too, but not, like, like-like you.

You can read more about our submissions process on our website, under “Submitting to SpecGram”, or you can just go ahead and email us at .

1 That’s on us for playing too close to the brick factory, but it was the first time any of our players managed to connect with the ball. We should have played next to the window factory, whose windows are all bricked up.

2 That is, most of them. Like a Latin verb, they’re often supine.

3 Judging by the angry muscular guy that came darting out of the factory, it’s more likely that the question would have been “By who?”, preceded by a significant beat-down.

4 Much like Virginia until the 1860s.

5 That issue was unfortunately lost.

6 Our writers already provide the 99% perspiration, demonstrating that SpecGram offices need better ventilation. What we’re trying to say is that if your writing isn’t genius, don’t sweat it.

7 Shortly afterward, our instructor left the field and became a dendrologist. That was a smart move, since fields usually don’t have a lot of trees. We like to think that her love of botany was inspired by our elaborate drawings of garden-path sentences.

8 It’s pretty wobbly, but we shoved a bunch of postcards under one leg. If your table needs some free postcards too, why not consider solving our monthly puzzle?

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 1 Contents