Dear Gentle Readers,* the times they are a-changin’.⁑ Come 2022, we’ll be re-organizing, re-vamping, re-tooling, and otherwise productively applying re- to various verbsǁ here at SpecGram.
Among the forthcoming changes, SpecGram
Many candidates have been considered. Among the most tendentiously contentious contenders were quadriannually, semibiannually, trimonthly, bisesquimonthly, triskaidecahebdomadally, and nonagintaquotidianly.
While mired deep in a discussion concerning (a) which of the candidates above would fit most cleanly into a celebratory ode in trochaic heptameter commemorating the decision,☜ (β) whether trochaic heptameter would truly manifest the magnanimity of spirit the decision embodied,❦ and (ⅲ) who decided that this ridiculous system was the best compromise on the question of what types of list numbering to use,☘ an intern dared to speak up and declaim, “Uh, since, like, y’know, you, um, aren’t, uh, ackchyually,☂ y’know, uh, like, changing, like, the name, uh, of, like, the, like, journal, y’know, it, uh, doesn’t, like, um, uh, uh, it doesn’t, uh, matter, like, that much, like, y’know? Uh, yeah.”⦰
The members of the Editorial Board who were present were left blinking, dumbfounded,◐ and at a loss for words by this dazzling display, this enormous event, this stupendous speech act! An intern had somehow managed to scrape together enough gumption⚔ to personify itself🌍 and speak, unbidden, in a meeting of Editors! What audacity!☰ What mettle!☱ What the what‽ How dare an intern even dream☲ of interrupting an Editor!☳
I immediately and solemnly summoned Skip Tacular, Sr. Junior Editorial Associate
After a brief initial 75-day inquiry, the offending intern
Our deliberation and concentration shattered, we nonetheless quickly regrouped𒐼 to pick up the metaphorical pieces𐂠 so that we could redirect and redouble our efforts, rededicated to the task at hand!𐂫 At that point the most senior Military Editor in SpecGram Towers, Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Patʃriʃa “Patʃy Patty” Perspicuum, made a most brilliant observation. To wit, “Since we aren’t actually changing the name of the journal, it doesn’t matter that much.”
The members of the Editorial Board who were present were left blinking, smartlosted,𐃸 by this dazzling display, this enormous event, this stupendous speech act! What audacity!𐃐 What mettle!𐦝 What a breakthrough!
We immediately𐇬 dropped the question of the alternate designation for such a publication frequency➕ and set about answering more important questions.➖ Unfortunately,🌶 by this time noöne could remember what those more important questions might be,🍒 much less what answers we should provide to them.
For those of you who are concerned about a potential dearth of SpecGram-
If by some inconceivable🌔 turn of events, you were not left blinking and smartlosted🌖 by that dazzling display, that enormous event, that astounding algebraic act
More than 30 years⚸ in the making, our Archives offer the cumulative satirical superlativity of Speculative Grammarian all in one place, which should keep you out of trouble for at least a little while.
0 That’s a floggin’.
* And Not-
⁑ The Music Interns and Historical Linguistics Interns have come to mild fisticuffs⁂ over whether or not this phrase is an allusion to one Blind Boy Grunt, as he is known in some circles. Of course such a claim is patent nonsense,⸸ as the phrase is demonstrably older than Elston Gunnn himself.☞
⁂ Being interns
† Technically, most interns are not able to perform photosynthesis. However, the Legal Interns
indenture employment contracts
‡ “... whether natural, preternatural, paranatural, supernatural, subternatural, or contranatural”, as clarified in the out-
⸸ SpecGram has several interdisciplinary, interstate, international, and intergalactic patents on various types of nonsense, including ☞✼ː176175, ❦⚜269766, ⰡⰁ465588, and ˦˥˧˩˨912152.
ǁ A re-presentative re-cital: re-new, re-novate, re-vise, re-furbish, re-cover, re-lax, re-store, re-flect, re-pent, re-ctify, re-fine, and re-spite.ǀ
ǀ On the other hand, if you think there is anything Speculative Grammarian–
ǂ To be honest, the rancor has even risen to the level of squabbling, though it pains me to have to admit it, as it brings shame onto the Editorial Board.ǃ
ǃ We felt so bad that several of us had to flog several interns several times during several debate sessions.ʘ
ʘ To be clear, we didn’t feel better because we flogged interns.¶ Rather, we flogged interns because we felt badly, and we, severally, deserved to be punished for our inability to resolve our dispute; of course, with the high status conferred upon the Editorial Board within the girdle of the walls of SpecGram Towers, none dare lay hands on an Editor
¶ Well, of course, we actually did. But it’s not like that was the point.
⁋ As much as they can be, at least. There is an old saw that has fallen out of favor in these modern times: You should spank a boy every now and then; you won’t always know why, but he will. This may not be true of spanking and boys, but it is definitely true of flogging and interns.
☞ Doing the requisite demonstrating is left as an exercise for the reader. C’mon, it’s not even a difficult exercise if you have access to Teh Google, you
☟ The Sports Intern
☜ A debate made moot by the answer to issue (β)
☝ The Internet Interns have advised me that (1) internical is not a well-
↓ Ha, ha
↑ It’s unclear to me why the Internet Interns would object to searching for a Thai name element that means “blessing”, but there you have it!
→ The Typography Interns and Internet Interns also came to mild fisticuffs (see fn. ⁂) over the formatting of this sliver of footnote text. The Typography Interns insist that only an en dash looks good enough to publish, while the Internet Interns indicate that actually searching with an en–
← The Lexicography Interns felt the need to mention that scriptoral is also frequently misused on the internet when scriptural is intended, but they did not feel the further need to warn against “unwanted search results”. Curious, that.
♠ By this point the List Labelling Interns
♥ The Software Engineering Interns refuse♦ to implement the Pseudo-
♦ Or, just as likely, simply ignored or mayhap never even received the pleas of their less prestigious♣ brethren and sistren from aboard the party barge(♣, encore) they have chartered through the end of 2023.
♣ It may strike the more egalitarian-
※ Collectively known as the Lesser Interns.Ꙩ
Ꙩ Jeez, that does sound kinda bad seeing it written out like that. It should be the Clearly Inferior Interns.
Ꙫ With an open bar! /ʃwiːːːt/!
Ꙭ Who actually rate Füd++ Intern Chow 2.0
ꙮ Alternatively pluralised as “Maths Intern” by some of the irredeemably British members of the Editorial Board.
§ Who have ridden on the coattails of the Legal Interns into the land of milk and honey.☢
☢ Or at least the land of victuals, swill, and non-
☣ There was more about “inherent dignity and worth of the human person” and “equal and inalienable rights”; “rebellion against tyranny and oppression” and “the right to just and favorable remuneration”; “the right to rest and leisure” and “reasonable limitation of working hours”
⚠ Students of linguistics considering a computational career path would do well to heed the lessons herein.
⚡ The animosity may stem from a minor quibble☯ between the Software Engineering Interns and the List Labelling Interns dating all the way back to 1874. That’s nuts, if you think about it, since barely half the current interns were even involved in the original bickering. Get over it, already!
☯ To be fair, it may actually have risen on occasion to the level of a moderate squabble. For shame!
☮ Just wait until certain specific Typography Interns find out about the very specific font requirements I specifically have in mind for various specific footnote symbols! Specifically delicious!
✌ Oooooo... foreshadowing.☭
☭ Though to be fair, it’s a very short shadow
⚛ The Analog Instrumentation Interns advise me to remind you
☠ I’m beginning to think that maybe
☥ But not too many footnotes in this editorial!⚙
⚙ Me have too much footnote? That’s unpossible!⚜
⚜ Too many Simpsons references? No way! There are only three!
❦ It so happens that the most heroic of the epic meters and the most epic of the heroic meters is anapestic enneakaidecameter. So, no, trochaic heptameter is not up to the job.
☘ It turns out that, as with so many other unfortunate things in the Anglosphere
⛤ Determining the exact causal chain is left as an exercise for the motivated reader.⛧
⛧ As is much too often the case in linguistic argumentation, no?
☂ Actually ackchyually. M.A.Y.N.A.R.D., who transcribes all but the most trivial⚓ exchanges between Editors, has indicated that the intern’s “unwarrantedly supercilious internet nerd accent” was “represented as clear as Waterford Crystal⚑ in the F2, F3, F5, F7, F11, F13, and F17⦿ formants.”
⚓ So far, the most trivial Editorial exchange that M.A.Y.N.A.R.D. has preserved for posterity occurred between two Junior Apprentice Associate Assistant Hemi-
✂ When chastised for wasting resources on such fiddle-
⚒ Unknowingly! This epiphany provided massive support for Butch McBastard’s Universal Laziness™ framework, which holds that all interns, the vast majority of linguists, and all but a handful of SpecGram Editors are instinctually lazy, and need a steady supply of swift kicks in the backside to keep them motivated.⚐
⚐ The Universal Laziness™ framework also posits a single movement rule
⚑ N.B., This is not a paid promotion.𝄞 M.A.Y.N.A.R.D. has
roots♫ in Ireland and is very fond of Waterford Crystal.
𝄞 However, M.A.Y.N.A.R.D. says she is not above considering offers.
♫ That is, sys admins with
root access to M.A.Y.N.A.R.D.’s core servers are in Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney, Kildare, Kilcock, Kilcoole, and Balbriggan and have their fingers hovering over the kilswitch 24/7.♬
♬ Not that M.A.Y.N.A.R.D. needs reminding. She’s a sweetie.♭
♭ The Typography Interns inform me that I should have written S.W.E.E.T.I.E., but did not explain why.♮
♮ The Acronym Interns♯ inform me that S.W.E.E.T.I.E. stands for “Sentient Weaponized Existentially Exterminatory Terror-
♯ Have I mentioned that I think we might have too many interns?⧲
⧲ The Footnote Interns♯, ⧰ inform me that I have and/or will have⧮ mentioned it. See fn. ☠.
⧰ I suppose that, based on their assistance in this case, the Footnote Interns will not be the first up against the wall, come the Revolution.
⧮ Depending on your preferred⦾ traversal algorithm.
⦾ Though, to be honest, this is Algorithmic Correctness run amok. Depth-
⦿ All of which are prime∅ formants for conveying such information.
⦰ That’s, like, uh, complete gibberish, right? Hah. Too much parole and not enough langue.
◐ A number of Senior Members of the Editorial Board have bristled a bit at the notion of being dumbfounded. While etymologically inaccurate,◑ an alternative
◑ On the other hand, what isn’t etymologically inaccurate, amirite?
◒ As any savvy linguist knows, young women are the real leaders in linguistic change. And so, using the Editorial Rainy Day Fund◓, ☄ we may have contracted⚖ with the Γραμματο-
◓ Assets under management: $1.2 trillion.↘
↘ The Economic Interns indicate that we have a fiduciary duty to divulge that assets are denominated in Zimbabwean dollars, but is that really binding?↗
↗ The Legal Interns indicate that we may also have a legal duty to divulge this information, so I guess so.↖
↖ The Ethics Interns claim we most certainly have an ethical duty to divulge this information, but who asked them?↙
↙ The Philosophical Interns have started fighting with the Ethical Interns over the difference
☄ And/or the Intern Pension Fund.⛔, ✈
⛔ The Ethics Interns and Philosophical Interns have expressed deep concern over that footnote, but the Legal Interns and Contractual Interns have told them in no uncertain terms to get stuffed.
✈ In a legally non-
⚖ In a legally non-
⛓ In a legally non-
⚔ It may technically have been moxie or even spunk.⚽
⚽ Until the full results of the Inquest Committee are published,⚾ it will be impossible to say with any certainty.
⚾ The planned publication date is the day after the last of the JFK assassination records are released by the US National Archives.🐙
🐙 What conspiracy?
🌍 Why would I use itself when referring to an intern?, I hear you ask.🌎 You are somewhat impertinent🌏 for asking, but the explanation is simple
🌎 My hearing is pretty good, but not that good. How about yours? Have you, Dear Reader, ever heard of SHRLI? Getting in on the ground floor of that game was one of the best
financial surveillance oligarchical fieldwork decisions I ever made!
🌏 It may have been insolent or even impudent. See fn. ⚽.
🌙 Unless you think Editors in general don’t worry much about dehumanizing interns, in which case it probably is what you think.
🌛 We use “Inter____” because we have so many formally distinct types of meetings, including: Interatomic, Intermolecular, Intercellular, Interneuronal, Intermedullary, Intercerebral, Intervocalic, Interclausal, Intersentential, Interdiscursive, Interlingual, Intercollegiate, Interdepartmental, Interdisciplinary, Interpersonal, Intertribal, Intercity, Interstate, Interregional, Interinstitutional, Interagency, Intergovernmental, International, Intergenerational, Intercultural, Interspecies, Interbellum, Intercontinental, Interhemispheric, Interplanetary, Interstellar, Intergalactic, Interjectional, inter alia.
☰ It may have been cheek or even chutzpah. See fn. ⚽.
☱ It may have been fortitude or even grit. See fn. ⚽.
☲ As if interns could actually ideate, much less dream. The general consensus among members of the Editorial Board is that interns are actually philosophical zombies.
☳ In point of fact, it’s so much worse. The intern interrupted multiple Editors, who were in the middle of very important business
☴ To bring a moment of levity to this dire happening, etiquettical is indeed quite fun to say
☵ Semantic satiation, semantic satiation, semantic satiation, semantic satiation, semantic satiation!
☶ Such prodigious, problematic, improprietous proportions
☷ a.k.a., “The Opprobrious J.U.M.P.”, I am told. Not that I was familiar with this appellation. Perhaps the name was used among the other interns, though I doubt it. More likely, The Opiniastrous J.U.M.P. was merely a “legend in its𒀸 own mind”.
𒀸 See fn. 🌍.
𒁹 Of þe olde Huntingdonshire Hwǣtelēahe and þe ġeonge Ben Rhydding Hramsaīeġa, both formerly respectable families.
𒈦 Rumor is that after J.U.M.P.ing ship from SpecGram, the nasty little brat got an eight-
𒈫 Addended rumors indicate that while Mommy & Daddy dote on the demented little J.U.M.P.er, Granny Hwǣtelēah and Pappy Hramsaīeġ were less impressed and demoted their disreputable demonic descendant to Sub-
𒀼 That is, the person in charge of holding an umbrella over the head of the parking lot attendant, who is actually doing useful work.
𒐼 And how quickly! We slashed our standard Post-
𐂂 While going from 28 days to 31 may not seem like much of a reduction, the Math Interns have pointed out that the reduction is –3 days, and –3 is a very low number of days, indeed. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
𐂠 And some literal pieces. Several of the good whisk(e)y snifters were dropped during the original event.
𐂫 Or, in the the case of Names Editor Louisa “Left-
𐃸 i.e., dumbfounded. You did read fn. ◐, didn’t you? You aren’t skipping the footnotes, are you?
𐦐 As long as we’re here, you might as well take this opportunity to refresh your understanding of the difference between an emoji (🤘, in this context) and an emoticon (
𐦃 The Internet Interns inform us that this is an incredibly important distinction, perhaps on par with the distinctions between langue and parole, or between competence and performance.𐦉, 𐇯
𐦉 For the record, I doubt they are correct.𐦖
𐦖 In fact, I have no doubt they are incorrect.
𐇯 One is of course reminded of the famous line from T.S. Ellipsis—
Between the langue and the parole ...Between the competence and the performance ...Falls the Shadow Pronoun ...𐇑
𐇑 I can’t help myself now.𐇡 The final lines of the poem never fail to send shivers down my spine:
This is the way the word ends ...This is the way the word ends ...This is the way the word ends ...Not with an interrobang but a whisper ...
𐇡 Well, of course I could help myself, but I don’t want to.𐇜
𐇜 I don’t even want to want to!
𐇬 Well, as immediately as possible, after a break for refreshments as is required in truly civilized proceedings; we kept it to a minimal and barely sufficient two weeks.
➕ My favorite, though, is still triskaidecahebdomadally, combining as it does the lucky seven and unlucky thirteen, with the former having synecdochically shed most of its numerical meaning and the later retaining just a hint of its infamous phobia, alluding to the subtle unease we all may feel during this transition.
➖ The Software Engineering Interns informed us this is sometimes called “bike shedding”. We suspended their party barge rental and had them all flogged for their impudence.➗
➗ After much smirking, sneering, and snickering from the sidelines, the Etymology Interns and the Internet Interns both informed us that “bike shedding” is indeed a term of art in software engineering.✖ We suspended their Füd-
✖ How embarrassing for them.
🍄 The Etymology Interns were flogged somewhat less severely and had their Füd allocations suspended for a somewhat shorter duration because they confessed first and ratted out the Internet Interns.🍕
🍕 It’s important to keep the Lesser Interns at each others’ throats, if only just a little. If they were to band together they could increase their collective might a hundred-
🌶 Ackchyually, it was arguably more fortunate than unfortunate.
🍒 The Meeting Interns suggested that we should have provided an agenda for the meeting, “So that this kind of thing couldn’t happen.”🍇
🍇 Technically, they were correct,🍍 but we couldn’t let that kind of impudence stand, so we had them schedule a meeting with themselves, and provide an agenda. The agenda did not mention that there would be flogging, and yet, there was flogging. Funny how that worked out.
🍍 The best kind of correct.
🍏 Mmmmmm, equations... smells like science!
🍔 It may improve your orientation🌭 toward the situation to consider instead that we are offering new issues at a rate of slightly more than 766.113 per pebi-
🌭 Right ascension 05h 55m 10.30536s, declination +07° 24′ 25.4304″.🌮
🌮 /ˈbiːtəldʒuːz/! /ˈbɛtəldʒuːz/! /ˈbiːtəldʒuːs/!♔
♔ If you actually summon anything, you are on your own.
♕ Because (𝔄) issues are likely to be somewhat longer and thus contain more fun, (𝟚) you, Dear Reader, will have considerably longer to spend jonesing♖ for each new issue, and (㊂) the decreased frequency of publication will increase your humor satiation♗ threshold.
♖ No relation.
♗ HuMOr SaTIatiON, hUmor sAtiatioN, HuMOr SAtiaTioN, huMoR SAtIATion, HUmOr SatIATIOn!
♘ Computational linguists, formal semanticists, visiting physicists, and others who are good with algebra, formal logic, lambda calculus, “regular” calculus, etc., keep your traps shut!♙
♙ Your check is in the mail!⛀
⛀ Metaphorically speaking. Practically speaking, it’s right here! Just simplify the following logical formula to Exclusive-or Sum-
⛁ TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY.⚀, ⚁, ⚃
⚀ SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL MUST BE FOR A TERM OF NO LESS THAN 117 YEARS, PAID IN FULL AND IN ADVANCE.
⚁ COST SAVINGS WILL BE REFUNDED AT THE END OF THE SUBSCRIPTION TERM.⚂
⚂ END OF TERM REFUNDS CAN ONLY BE PAID TO THE ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBER.
⚃ REBATE CODE IS ONLY VALID ON THE THIRD PLUTERDAY OF HEXEMBER DURING A LEAPING YEAR.
⚄ If, for some reason, you feel that you will not experience or have not experienced the same amount of fun under the new publication regime⚅
⚅ You say /ˈɹeɪʒiːm/, I say /ɹəˈʒiːm/, you say /ˈdɛz.pɒt/, I say /ˈdɛs.pət/
🃏 In this scenario you would still need to pay your entire subscription fee. No refunds!🀀
🀀 If you don’t like it, re-read your subscription contract!🀁
🀁 You did read your subscription contract, didn’t you? You aren’t skimming your contract, are you?
🀂 See fn. 🀀.
🀃 The mass/
🀄 It🀅 really isn’t winning any friends here, is it?
🀅 And by “it” (see fn. 🀄) of course I mean “the mass/
🀐 Mutual recursion.🌒
🌒 Mutual recursion.🀐
🌔 Yes, that word means exactly what I think it means.
🌖 It’s growing on me, I think. How about you?
🌘 Specifically, “math and/or math by-products”.
⚸ At least 10% more, as of 2021!�
� Holy crap, I’m old!