Describe This!--A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CXLIX, No 2 Contents Introducing Hawelshi'ian--Pidge N. Kriolio

Letters to the Editor

Dear SpecGram Editors:

My grandmother, a linguistics prodigy, first subscribed to SpecGram in 1907 at the age of 4. She, my father and uncles, and now my sisters and I have been faithful readers our entire lives. Gran was actually reading a copy of SpecGram when she passed on to the big fieldwork assignment in the sky in 1994, at the ripe old age of 101.

I've always wanted to write in and thank you for providing such a valuable service to the linguistics community, and for the pleasure and intellectual joy you've brought to our family over the last 100 years.

However, what really motivated me to write was the 2004 presidential campaign. Regardless of your political affiliation, or your allegiance to a particular school of linguistic thought, one conclusion is inescapable. Whether it is eventually decided that lines must cross (Luvver 1993) or not (Wright 1997), the truth of the BS Node is self-evident, at least in politic-speak.

Yurtru Lee-Grate


Dear Ms. Lee-Grate,

Thank you for your kind words, and inspiring story.

While SpecGram must remain (outwardly) apolitical, the political truth you speak is self-evident.



To the Editors:

I don't think the SpecGram staff should be so hard on Nim Chimpsky. He's had a rough life, and never really learned to communicate all that well, unlike those of us lucky enough to receive a quality education. He never really seemed to recover from the LANE scandal, and I lost touch with him after that. I'm glad that at least he is gainfully employed.

Vice President for New Show Scheduling
American Broadcasting Company



Thanks for your concern, but I'm sad to say that we had to let Nim go after he shredded some important documents relating to an anti-trust lawsuit stemming from our failed bid at a hostile take over of Language. Last we heard, he was settling in as a Sandwich Artist for Subway. We've been worried about you since the LANE scandal, and we're glad to hear that you are gainfully employed. (And it explains a lot, too!)



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 articles that ramble pointlessly. We reserve the right to riducle the poorly-written ones and publish the well-written ones... or vice versa, at our discretion. Dear SpecGram,

I very much enjoyed reading Trey Jones's fluffy little piece on Adaptive Heuristic Caching in Name Recall, but have to take issue with the way he has played fast and loose with certain well-loved equations. In his article, Mr Jones uses this equation:


Rn(ti)  =  Dn  +  Rn(ti-1)/KT  +  Σm[rn,m·Rm(ti)]  +  KLn·(ln(Vn) - 1)

where Dn > max(Rm) for Gn > Gm

It is clear to any student of the field that the correct equation must actually be closer to this:

Rn(ti)  =  Dn  +  Rn(ti-1)/K'T '  +   Σm[rm,n·Rm(ti)]  +  KLn²·(ln(Vn+ 1)

where Dn < max(Rm) for Gn >= Gm

Fun read, though.
Jonathan van der Meer
Center for Computational
Bioinformatics and Linguistics


Hey Jon,

You big kidder, you. K'T ' isn't even defined over the domain in question! And KLn² needs to be twice differentiable if we are even going to pretend that's going to work.

What a joker you are. Hah! Darn computational bio-linguists are all the same. You guys crack us up!



Dier Edhiters,

Ah em queyeghte uh Phan uv miztr Chambers plaen foor Englysch sphailling rheefourm. Ah em alzo phemale, ahnd queyeghte egzpeerienzt wit riteeng laghrge Grant pro-Pozals. Ah haev kno egzpeerienz wit Sheep orr goats, though.

Pleez put Me in cahntakt wit miztr Chambers at yur erliest kuhnveenienss.

--Mad Mwazelle Julienne Frighs
Yooniversiteh uv Wahterlu


Ms. Frighs,

We have sent your contact information to Sanderson this very afternoon. He will likely be in touch soon. However, we have to tell you that we had lunch with Sandy last week, and he seems to be back on his medication. He may be less interested in that grant than he was a few months ago.


Describe This!--A Letter from the Managing Editor
Introducing Hawelshi'ian--Pidge N. Kriolio
SpecGram Vol CXLIX, No 2 Contents