We, Like, Need You!—Symantha “Symmie” Lee, Luke Lake, and Needy McNeedles SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 1 Contents /nuz baɪts/

Letters to the Editor

Dear SpecGram,

Your “University News” piece, “Goofy Geeks Grumble, Gripe ’Gainst Gossipy Greek Glyph Goofs” [which discusses the brawl that broke out in the Greek Department of Greek at the Greco-Hellenic University for Greek Studies in Grimsby, UK, over the pronunciation of the names of Greek letters —Eds], once again shows the parochialism of your narrow focus on linguistics.

You failed entirely to mention that the altercation spilled over into the maths department, who were debating whether to replace π, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, with τ, the ratio of its circumference to its radius, the English literature department, who were analysing Hamlet’s soliloquy, and the medical school, who were hosting a urology seminar.

A much fuller account can be found in my report for Imaginative Intellectual, “2π or Not 2π? That Is the Question.”

Yours sincerely,
Πter Πper

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Dear Poo-Pee-Pie,

Ugh. Those poindexters over at II couldn’t distinguish a truth condition from a hole in the ground if it bit them in the ass, to coin a figure of speech.

That said, your memoir of your experiences will certainly become an important historical document. It will surely find its rightful place among other historical documents of similar importancein a library, in the cellar, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Ennui”.

In our experience, urologists and literature types know how to party! But mathematicians are so deadly dull, and typographically unadventurous. An occasional Greek letter does not prevent Jack from becoming a dull boy. Sure, they may attempt to liven things up with a dash of 𝔉𝔯𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔲𝔯 and and a splash of 𝕕𝕠𝕦𝕓𝕝𝕖-𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕦𝕔𝕜 Latin, but it just makes them look like try-hards. The truly typographically adventurous mathematician may use ℵ and ℶ (note those are look-alike math symbols, not actual Hebrew, to make sure the math nerd’s poor computer doesn’t have to think any scary right-to-left thoughts). Rarely, they may even branch out into Cyrillic, but rarely beyond Ш and Л.

Wait, where were we going with this? Oh, rightyou need to make better friends!


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Dear Non-Believers-Entities,

While it is impossible not to appreciate the erudition, learning and obvious insight of the various contributors to your recent Biblinguimerix series, may I point out that there is very little ‘Biblical’ about them. Each seems to aspire to Biblicity by means of a single reference to some part of this collection of texts. Yet alas! Having checked with my four fine theological friends Mattie, Marco, Lukas and Jo, I must inform you that all these references are drawn only from the four canonical gospels. Let’s get quantitative: chapter-wise, the four gospels represent a total of 28 + 16 + 24 + 21 chapters (minus 1 for John chapter 21) = 88 chapters. The Bible itself (minus the Apocrypha) contains 1,189. You do the math!

In future, if you’re going to claim Text X-inguimerick status for a collection of your ditties, please ensure that they are representative of that text. I look forward to reading Biblinguimerix from Esther, Ruth, 2 Thessalonians, Job, Malachi, 3 John and Numbers at your earliest convenience.

Mrs Methuselah

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Dear O(ld) T(imer),

Not to be too evangelical about it, the gospel truth is that your letter, being far from inerrant, is N(o)T something we will take as scripture.

Nevertheless, here’s a Genesis-based Biblinguimerick (and not about the Tower of Babel):

It’s really quite hard to conceive it:
That Eve didn’t really believe it
When God said ‘Now know,
That that tree’s a no-go!’
Now would you Adam ’n’ Eve it?

—Garden of Editors

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Dear Eds,

I was shocked and perturbed to read what can only be described as your eulogy of Phil O’Torque in a recent issue. My wife and I were victims of O’Torque’s perverted ‘data collection’ in the late noughties, waking up on no less than two occasions in the middle of the night to find O’Torque, microphone in hand, lying between us. Having promised each other at our marriage in 1972 than nothing would ever come between us, it was traumatic in the extreme to find our intimacy ruptured in so vile a manner. O’Torque, of course, was oblivious to anything other than his fanatical data collection and simply kept repeating ‘Take turns, take turns; I must hear some turn-taking.’

Fortunately, our housekeepers, Petunia and Pádraig, who sleep with us (but not, note, between us; Petunia is on my side, Pádraig on my wife’s), are not only 23 and 26, respectively, but also hold a black belt in karate each. They were able to remove O’Torque from the marital bed with a grace, agility and speed that would (and indeed did) amaze and excite. Needless to say we’ve burnt our pillows, have not engaged in pillow talk since and my wife grimaces whenever she sees a microphone. If it wasn’t for Petunia and Pádraig singing us both to sleep with traditional Celtic folksongs, I’m sure we’d hardly have got a night’s rest since. Please be careful whom you choose to eulogise in future.

Tuck and Duptin Bedd
Master Bedroom
69 Bedd Lane

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Dear Foursome,

Sleep tight and sweet dreams!


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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.

We, Like, Need You!Symantha “Symmie” Lee, Luke Lake, and Needy McNeedles
/nuz baɪts/
SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 1 Contents