The Unlikely Origins of the Ethnography of Communication in Satirical Linguistics—Prinkle and Patriziana von Herzburgermeister SpecGram Vol CXCII, No 1 Contents An Assassin’s Alphabet—Mona Whit & Ethan Macht

SpecGram Dictionary of the Linguistics of Mythological Beasts

It’s Not Just Legendary; It’s Unreal

Volume 87: The Werewolf
by Val Kiri1 (with the assistance of Dec, Shaun, and Harry)

While books about syntax have their place,2 we all know that language is basically just words. Hence dictionaries. Now these come in many shapes and sizes, although most are three-dimensional and usually cuboid. Geometrical universals aside, though, many dictionaries are actually pretty useless; we all know what most words mean after all! For example, I’ve used quite a few words in this intro already and I’ve only had to look up two!3

While the inutility of your regular turgid list of words is self-evident, the dictionary still has its uses when it comes to less common wordsamong which, of course, are terms for mythological beasts. As the bedrock of Western civilisation, ever since St. George killed that dragon, the job market, successful relationships, and the joy of discovering your own endless potential will ever elude you if you don’t know your cicatrices from your chimeras and your minotaurs from your myrmecoleons. Fearsome critters all, extensive knowledge of these arcane odditiesnot least their etymologies, collocations, and mispronunciationsis a must in the hi-tech, globally connected world of the 21st century.

And that’s where SpecGram steps in: if you’re ever in a sticky linguistic situation with one of the remaining medusae, the SpecGram Dictionary of the Linguistics of Mythological Beasts will help you out. So, without further ado, to this week’s issue: the Werewolf. As ever we’ve lots of entries all helpfully listed in an alphabetically random order. So start in the middle, begin at the end, or better still, just skip to the next article.

Werewolf: A mythological creature; a shapeshifting manwolf which causes untold chaos in wooded, rural village settings

Whenwolf: A werewolf that never quite knows what time it will transmogrify

Whywolf: An ever-curious werewolf

Why-oh-why-oh-whywolf: A werewolf with regrets (usually about terrorising village dwellers)

Howolf: A promiscuous werewolf

Arewolf: An up-to-date, live-in-the-moment werewolf

Amwolf: A self-absorbed werewolf

Bewolf: An infinite werewolf

Erewolf: A werewolf no longer in wolf form

Letitbewolf: A chillaxed werewolf from Liverpool

’Rewolf: An informal werewolf

Waswolf: That rarest of pack-eschewing werewolves, the independent, go-it-alone, all-on-its-own singular werewolf

We’rewolf: A group of werewolves

WearWolf: A clothing line for werewolves

Tyne and Wearwolf: A werewolf from the northeast of England

Werewolfs: Your regular werewolves

Willbewolf: A werewolf that can predict the future

Won’tbewolf: (1) A werewolf that predicts the future pessimistically (2) A werewolf that predicts what won’t happen in the future

Whoawolf: A go-slow werewolf

Wellwolf: A healthy, happy werewolf

Well ...?wolf: A hesitant werewolf

Wellnesswolf: A werewolf who runs meditation and yoga classes

WWWWolf: An online werewolf

Addendum: The Lycanthrope

If you’ve had it with Germanic etymologies and prefer your mythical beasts to come in a more classical form, try the lycanthrope. The same look and feel, the same functionality, but with an extra bonus syllable.

Lycanthrope: A Greek werewolf

Lycouldthrope: A werewolf which emigrated from Greece

Lymustthrope: A necessarily Greek werewolf

Lycanthorpe: A hamlet or small village of werewolves

Liedownthrope: A sleeping werewolf

YesIcanthrope!: A werewolf with high self-efficacy

NoIcan’tthrope!: A werewolf that’s lost the ability to transmogrify

That’s all, folks! If you’ve enjoyed this issue of the SpecGram Dictionary of the Linguistics of Mythological Beasts, go howl at the moon! Join us next time for a pop-up life-size linguistic dictionary of giants.

1 No relation to Welsh ice-cream vendor Dai Quiri, since you ask.

2 Often on a fairly dusty toppish shelf or on a deserted tropical island.

3 One of which was dictionary.

The Unlikely Origins of the Ethnography of Communication in Satirical LinguisticsPrinkle and Patriziana von Herzburgermeister
An Assassin’s AlphabetMona Whit & Ethan Macht
SpecGram Vol CXCII, No 1 Contents