Buona Fortuna, Italiano!—The Editorial Board of Speculative Grammarian SpecGram Vol CXCIII, No 1 Contents /nuz baɪts/

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editors,

While we agree with the observations of your recent correspondent Widow Hanky-Panky XXIV, we cannot but be monkey puzzled by the false dichotomy that this donkey proposes as a solution. Moreover, to rhyme monkey with donkey or donkey with monkey is necessarily to discriminate against one or other mammal. As lovers of mammals (and wider fauna), this seems to us a greater sin than the original offence.

Both logic and inclusivity force us to consider the less discriminatory, non–false-dichotomous solution, namely to rhyme both words with a neutral third word, say, lanky. Mankey and dankey have a rich, mammalian phonaesthetic about them, you’ll agree, far more intuitively connotating the nourishment of young via milk production than the original words. Indeed, this principle might then be applied to all other instances of sound-spelling mismatch, which would, over time, result in a neo-English consisting simply of a lexicon of mutually rhyming lexemes. Such a linguistic structure might prove to be learnable by some of our mammalian friends (and wider fauna) to the benefit of all.

Nathaniel McDaniels and his tanned cockerspaniels
Kat Sprats and her fat cats
Co-presidents, Society of Humans-And-Mammals (SHAM)

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Dear Lanky,

I’m afraid that we shall have to rebuff your suggestion to christen mankies and dankies. As much as we would like to watch hanky racing and watch little baby pankies rolling in the mud, we feel that your proposal would create too much mirth. Besides, we’re pretty sure that your “pan-mammalian aesthetic” is a sign of an uprising.


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Dear Sirs,

I was recently perusing some of your older offerings, and really, I must express admiration of a sort: Rarely have I seen a more misguided application of human effort to the trivial and insipid outside certain schools of medieval astronomy.

Cornelius Constantine Nibtwiggy

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Dear Nibtwibt,

Thank you for such a heart-warming tribute to our virtues. Perhaps the most charming part was your naïveté in assuming any effort at all was expended on anything at all.


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Dear sirs,

Oh the irony! In the closing sentence of your recent /nuz baɪt/, the writer slips into a clankingly anti-euphonious and ear-offending ungrammaticality with the strident phrase “the reports for the ones they did catch.” Given the subject matter of the piece, not to mention the tight adherence to standard English so richly exemplified in the first notional half of the closing sentence, would it not have been more in line with expectations and the conventions of standard written British English to have gone with, for example, “the reports for them ones what they done catched”?

Let’s stand(ard) up and be counted when it comes to keeping our English both standard and Standard. Understand(ard)?

Stan D’Art
St Anne’s de Aard
Stone Dartford

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Hey-up, Laurie,

Yer what?



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Dear Eds,

We are grateful to your journal for the recent highlighting of the arduous and demanding nature of the Great Bowl Shift undertaken on a daily basis by our hardworking members. Can I take this opportunity to promote the equally important High Table Consommé Shift, a similarly complex logistical task which occurs at the beginning of Gala Dinners and which is often confused with the High German Consonant Shift in linguistics journals.

Hugh G. T’Able
Chief Chef-Connoisseur of the Association of Gala Dinner Catering Associates

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Dear Hey You,

Soup of the day Tag at table three drei! Now shift itor we’ll terminally devoice you!

Thank you! Dank you!


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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.

Buona Fortuna, Italiano!The Editorial Board of Speculative Grammarian
/nuz baɪts/
SpecGram Vol CXCIII, No 1 Contents