Official SpecGram Poem: The Search Goes On—Poetical Editor Laurie Att SpecGram Vol CXCIII, No 2 Contents Press Conference of the Association of Overly Honest Linguists

Overheard* in the Linguistics Student Lounge

Chesterton “ʍcɢ Wilburfors Gilchrist, IV
Grad Student Union Steward, United Linguistics Workers**
Third-Year Grad Student, Dept. of Lexicology and Glottometrics
Devonshire-upon-Glencullen University, Southampton

All names have been changed to protect the guilty innocent.

Preterite: Beware of Germans bearing Gifts.
Keysmith: I once visited a tourist shop in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania called Das Gift Haus. The visit went better than you might have predicted.
Preterite: Are you sure you got the right address?
Jargonisation: But a Frenchman carrying poisson is fine, especially if he’s into distribution.
Linguistically: As are Frenchmen bearing pain.
Doublespeak: Beware of Polish theologians who get stuck in a Bog.
MilkCaramel: After the Russians took control of the Buriats, a Mongolic people around Irkutsk, the Russian Orthodox Church took a hard line on any possible syncretism among the Buriats and insisted that God be called Bog even in Buriat texts. The trouble is that if you use the spelling closest to the Russian, ⟨bog⟩ [bɔg] means ‘garbage, rubbish, Scheiss’ (the basic meaning is ‘windblown dried grass’, rather like how crap originally meant ‘chaff’). (It also has a homonym meaning ‘small livestock’, i.e. sheep and goats.) If you use the spelling transcribed ⟨bug⟩ [bog], which is closest to the Russian pronunciation, that means ‘demon, evil ghost’. Nonetheless, the Orthodox Church persisted.
Jargonisation: So bad...those damn false cognates...

More to come...

* My GrandpapáChesterton Wilburfors Gilchrist, Jr., of “Reanalysis of Spanish by Naïve Linguists” fameimpressed upon me from an early age the potentially career-making value of eavesdropping serendipitous fieldwork. As I am notyet!the eavesdropper serendipitous fieldworker my Grandpapá is, and I don’tyet!have his ear for finding meaningfully meaningful meaning in overheard conversations, I will keep publishing the data of my informants until I, too, make an important contribution to linguistics!

** This Research is gratefully sponsored by the ULŋW Local #1729.

Official SpecGram Poem: The Search Goes OnPoetical Editor Laurie Att
Press Conference of the Association of Overly Honest Linguists
SpecGram Vol CXCIII, No 2 Contents