Presenting The SpecGram Quiz to End All Quizzes SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 4 Contents /hʌnikom pʌzəl/—Ulfheðnar ber Sarkur

An Exciting Linguistics Investment Opportunity!

Speculative Grammarian is pleased to announce our new cryptocurrency: SpecCoin.

This is not our first venture into the world of cryptocurrencies. SafuPonzu, the coin with the cute picture of a Shiba Inu slathered in a Japanese citrus sauce, was originally created by the mysterious Davoshi J. Petermoto as a way to evade taxes on money he made inventing a language for a popular television show.1 SafuPonzu was ultimately shut down by federal regulators,2,3 but (unrelatedly) not before we opened the luxury compound that is home to the SpecGram resort on our privately owned Hawaiʻian island.

What is crypto? Explain it like I’m five but, like, a smart five, you know.

Crypto is to money as conlanging is to linguistics.

How does SpecCoin work?

SpecCoin uses the same hashing technique as in Johnson & Lappin’s “A Critique of the Minimalist Program”, which takes a simple sentence like “John saw Mary” and turns it into “[TP [SPEC [NP2 John]][T’ [T’ FF([NP Mary])4 [T’ FF([Vb saw1 v])3 T]][Vmax [SPEC t2][V’ [Vb t3][VP [V t1] [NP t4]]]]]]”. I think we can all agree that it made a complete hash of that sentence!4 The hashed text apparently says that Mary speculated that the restroom had toilet paper but was all “FFS!” when it was out. Now that’s privacy on a public distributed ledger!

What other privacy features does SpecCoin use?

SpecCoin is based on zk-SNARKs, or zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge. We’ve hired a team of the best syntacticians on the planet, who are argumentative, not very interactive, and not very knowledgeable, at least in a useful way.5 Even our harshest critics agree that the SpecGram team is pretty snarky!

Is SpecCoin a Proof-of-Work coin?

SpecCoin is the first cryptocurrency that’s Proof-of-No-Work. If you’re reading this article on your office computer, you may be earning SpecCoin right now!

Can I mine SpecCoin?

No, you can’t yours it! We’re not big on independent possessive pronouns around here. But you can buy it from us, and then it will be yours yourn..., um, your?6

What are the tokenomics?

Unfortunately, our weed dealer doesn’t accept it yet. We once traded some for shrooms, so we think that means it’s fungible.

Is SpecCoin an ERC-20 token?

Our token specialist, Lexie Anna Liszt, is currently on leave in rehab, but we remember hearing her complain about high gas prices before she went to buy ether. Make of that what you will.

Where can I trade SpecCoin?

Lexie said that you can go to Griddlecakeswap and find a liquidity pool with SpecCoin and Tethera.7 We’re not sure what that means, but it sounds like you’ll need some /l/s and /r/s.8

What is the SpecCoin symbol?

The symbol is a black schwa in a red “no symbol” because savvy crypto investors dislike centralization.

What are other people saying about SpecCoin?

Accountant Wen Lambeau says, “Get in on the ground floor! Then go down a flight of stairs to the basement below the bowling alley, where my office is.” Professor H. N. Dex says, “Do your own research. Then do mine, and I’ll let you be fourth author.” Hedge fund managers Humphrey Q. Pumpendump and G. Ruggles Pullman say, “Come to our party! We’ll provide the chips, and you can buy the dip.” Redditor u/ralphkramden says “You’re going to the moon!” General attorney Eric Hodler exclaims, “Buy as much as you can! Wait, you said that you’re speculating in Bitcoin, right?”

Where can I use SpecCoin?

All remaining SpecGram employees below the level of Executive Editor are already being paid 100% in SpecCoin.9 We’re working on getting local restaurants and shops to accept SpecCoin, and along the way we’ve learned how to say “No!” in at least twelve new languages,10 or more if you count Stereotypical Italian-American Sign Language. For now, SpecCoin is only accepted in the vending machine in the interns’ pit in the subbasement.11

All investments are speculative, so why not put all your money into the one that admits it!

1 Listen up, wannabe NFL quarterbacks. This is where the real money is.

2 The accusation was that 1% of every transaction went to existing coin holders and 9% was siphoned off into an unidentifiable account. Even if true (and our attorneys briefly put down their mai tais to clarify that it isn’t), it wouldn’t be the worst cryptocurrency idea ever.

3 Don’t worry: The dog was given a bath, making her a lot cleaner than the typical SpecGram intern (or Petermoto’s filthy lucre).

4 Or that whoever came up with this notation was smoking hash.

5 We’re still working on getting them to be succinct.

6 We might also give you some if you can provide Proof of Steak.

7 Tethera is a “stable” coin backed by the £3 in some Derbyshire man’s pocket. Before the recent audit, it was called Methera.

8 Or perhaps she’s referring to the swim complex at the SpecGram resort, where there’s a sign asking guests not to add any liquidity to the pool.

9 Unrelatedly, SpecGram isn’t publishing as often as it used to these days.

10 Even when we’ve incentivized businesses by offering them free SpecCoin, the result has been the same. And you don’t want to know what happened to our poor (ex-)associate who tried bribing them with SafuPonzu.

11 Yes, we know that it’s been broken for three months. The repair guy keeps demanding to be paid in “real money”, but we have our principles.

Presenting The SpecGram Quiz to End All Quizzes
/hʌnikom pʌzəl/Ulfheðnar ber Sarkur
SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 4 Contents