Noise in the System—Letters to the Editor Langue du Monde — JLSSCNC Vol XVI, No 1 Contents Conversations with the Arch-Linguist (Part 1)—Jim Brentley

mit Keith W. Slater

Vicious Overlap

A Gnashing of Teeth

und Rob Norris

As I pointed out in the previous issue, there is no point about making your whole argument hinge on your personal ego, Rob. Our readership may be accustomed to your pomposity already, but at least you could attempt to provide some rational justification for your grandiose claims. Granted, our readership is mostly unthinking and insensate, but why you choose to stoop to their level is beyond me.

In fact, I sometimes wonder why you even bother to write at all. Most linguists at least attempt to appear thoughtful in their work; yours will surely be included among society’s all-time greatest intellectual farces.

Not that your work is your own greatest failure, Rob. I can’t honestly think of a single area of intellectual, social, or moral development in which you have surpassed even the most underdeveloped arthropod. Your police record aside, I cannot think of one single achievement to credit you with, unless it would be to mention your astonishing feats of endurance before a television set.

It would be a gross understatement to say that I hope never to read another word which you have written, Rob. Furthermore, you would be doing us all a great favor to refrain from speaking in public on any topic, or even from appearing in pubic.

   Until next time, I remain,
      Your Affectionate Colleague

Keith, once again I sense that there’s a little quasit on your shoulder whispering half-truths and cheap fictions into your ear, which simply flow through your fingertips into your typewriter and show up in your column verbatim; no half-functioning hominid such as yourself could possibly, without diabolic intervention, accomplish such a ludicrous and incessant spewing forth of sour academic tripe.

I should have known, when we were undergrads together, that you would amount to little more than wild-eyed hitchhiker on the intellectual expressway, forever thumbing for a ride, but receiving, and deservedly so, only the occasional snicker or grimace from passing motorists, and more often than not having your possessions stolen by a bunch of wise-asses in a pickup truck. Case in point: in your last column you cite three authors, two of whom are in prison for manufacturing PCP in their department’s coffee room, the other of whom is a nine-year-old boy from Alabama whose manuscript you received by postal error.

On the question of linguistic data, I hardly consider the lyrics to “Karma Chameleon” by the androgenite Boy George a fitting corpus for your recently published Sanskrit Reader, and I think Frank’s Academic Publishing and Drive-Through Pork-a-Que is a low-class publishing outfit, even by your shallow midnight-Xeroxing standards. If on your list of publications you were asked to exclude articles which were written on paper airplanes and thrown from a moving car I’m afraid our readership might call to see your head, flaming, on a pike.

   Eagerly awaiting our next quibble,
      Your Brother in the LSSCNC

Noise in the System—Letters to the Editor
Conversations with the Arch-Linguist (Part 1)—Jim Brentley
Langue du Monde — JLSSCNC Vol XVI, No 1 Contents