Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CXC, No 4 (240 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXC, Number 4 Post–Brood X Magicicada, Super Duper Issue ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor, Deak Kirkham, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Vincent Fish, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Luca Dinu, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Reed Steiner; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; An Infinitude of Jots and Tittles; Mid-July 2021 ... more ]

2. About Us (228 visits)

Speculative Grammarian and Our Story. The august journal Speculative Grammarian has a long, rich, and varied history, weaving an intricate and subtle tapestry from disparate strands of linguistics, philology, history, politics, science, technology, botany, pharmacokinetics, computer science, the mathematics of humor, basket weaving, archery, glass blowing, roller coaster design, and bowling, among numerous other, less obvious fields. SpecGram, as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike, has for centuries sought to bring together the greatest yet least understood minds of the time, embedding itself firmly in the cultural and psychological matrix of the global society while ... more ] Podcast!

3. Language Evolution and the Acacia TreeSean Geraint (136 visits)

Language Evolution and the Acacia Tree. by Sean Geraint. Last year, renowned treethnographer Garik Roblerks noticed that two books on the evolution of language had strikingly similar covers. Both Christiansen & Kirby’s Language Evolution and Fitch’s The Evolution of Language boasted an acacia tree in the sunset. On closer inspection, these turned out to be different pictures of the same tree. ... A comparison of the books, by Christiansen & Kirby (left) and Fitch (right) Having spent a year tracking trees in Kenya, I can confirm that the tree is from Maasai Mara National Reserve. The tree has attracted a lot of attention since its entrance into the glamorous world of book cover design, and I ... more ] Book!

4. Archives (122 visits)

SpecGram Archives. A word from our Senior Archivist, Holger Delbrück: While bringing aging media to the web and hence the world is truly a labor of love, SpecGram tries the passion of even the most ardent admirer. Needless to say, we’ve fallen behind schedule. At every turn, the authors found in the pages of this hallowed journal stretch credibility with their gratuitous font mongeringfirst it was the IPA, then a few non-standard transcription systems, then Greek, and not just the alphabet, but the entire diacritical mess, and now I’ve got some god-forsaken Old Church Slavonic glyph sitting on my desk that no one can even name, and which would give the Unicode Consortium ... more ]

5. The Laziest Language on EarthAn Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Perry So-soClaude Searsplainpockets (108 visits)

Speculative Grammarian is proud to present yet another installment of indeterminate regularity in the Linguistic Anthropologic Monograph Endowment’s Bizarre Grammars of the World Series. The Laziest Language on Earth. An Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Perry So-so. Bizarre Grammars of the World, Vol. 61, Introduction. Back in 1922, my Historical Linguistics professor, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, noted that ease of articulation is a driving force in language changehence the regular occurrence of lenition rulesbut the opposing need to maintain a clear communication channel prevents everything from degenerating to a long low mid vowel. Turns out he was ... more ] Podcast! Book!

6. Here We Go Againor, This Too Shall PassA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (88 visits)

Here We Go Again ... or, This Too Shall Pass. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. Longtime1 readers of SpecGram will recall this journal’s most recent phœnexian rebirth in 2004, which was followed a few months and two issues later by the Brood X Magicicada Super Issue, a “celebratory” observance of the invasion of our D.C. offices by uncontrolled throngs of Brood X Magicicada septendecim. As any competent entomologist (and, really, any half-competent etymologist) could tell you, the offspring of that summer’s nominal locusts are to be expected to come calling seventeen years later.2 And thusa generation later, ... more ]

7. Google Translate Acquires New LanguagesAdham Smart (88 visits)

Google Translate Acquires New Languages. Adham Smart, SpecGram Wire Services. Staff at Google had cause to celebrate on the 12th of December last year, which saw the internet giant announce the addition of ten new languages to its translation centre in the San Francisco Zoo. Following the arrival of the languages to Google’s $40,000,000 enclosure in the zoo, Christine Baalbecqui, Language Acquisition Director at Google Translate, had this to say: “It’s been a real struggle, but it was worth it. As you know, it takes years of planning and effort to carry out a successful operation like the one we’ve just pulled off, so we’re feeling pretty elated. I want to thank our in-country teams for ... more ]

8. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (76 visits)

The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . For decades, Speculative Grammarian has been the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguisticsand now it is available in book formboth physical and electronic! We wish we were kidding, but no, seriously, we’ve published a large collection of SpecGram articles, along with just enough new material to force obsessive collectors and fans to buy it, regardless of the cost. From the Introduction: The past twenty-five years have witnessed many changes in linguistics, with major developments in linguistic theory, significant expansion in language description, and even ... more ]

9. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (75 visits)

Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics. by Trey Jones. As a service to our young and impressionable readers who are considering pursuing a career in linguistics, Speculative Grammarian is pleased to provide the following Gedankenexperiment to help you understand the possibilities and consequences of doing so. For our old and bitter readers who are too far along in their careers to have any real hope of changing the eventual outcome, we provide the following as a cruel reminder of what might have been. Let the adventure begin ... more ] Book!

10. Vol CXC, No 3 (72 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXC, Number 3 Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor, Deak Kirkham, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Vincent Fish, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Luca Dinu, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Joe McAvoy, E.M. McQueen, Daniel Swanson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Is This a Journal That I See Before Me?; June 2021 ... more ]

11. Letters to the Editor (CXC.4) (67 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Mid-Month Editors, As a longtime reader of SpecGram, I’ve noted the occasional Mid-Month issue with amusement andwhen they provide bonus contentsome glee. But I’ve always been curious, what specifically qualifies as “mid-”? Is it the 15th for every month, or the 14th for February? Does January or July get a release on the 15th-and-a-half? How accurate are your mid-month calculations? Yours in exactitude, Nedrick Matthew Munson, Primus inter pares, Товарищи d’Χρονομετρία Ltd. ... more ]

12. Quotes: What People are Saying (66 visits)

Quotes: What People are Saying. Here are a few of our favorite things people have said about Speculative Grammarian over the years, collected wild on the internet, or domesticated in email — Q1118. C’est sans doute un humour un peu ésotérique mais bon —Sémioticien du bisou — Q1117. Support the addition of the double-dot wide O to the IPA chart by buying some Speculative Grammarian merchandise! No, I’m not being sponsored or getting a commission from them. I just appreciate good geeky humour —Grace Teng — Q1116. Speculative Grammarian ist die erste Zeitschrift für satirische Linguistik. Kostenlos zugänglich, ein ... more ]

13. University News (66 visits)

University News. Weak Phonological Phenomena Are Literally Weaker!. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia A freshly-baked Sunday spread of momma’s-homemade-strawberry-jam-level intensity has just been announced by the Devonshire University System (DUnS). At a press conference in the iconic central dodecahedrangle of DunS’ main campus, near ‘suicide cliff’ on the south coast of Devonshire, the sub-division of phenomenology, philosophy, philandering and phonology (SDoPhPhPhPh) unveiled the results of 18 lunar months of research into weak phonological phenomena. Such phenomena, it turns out, are literally weaker than ... more ]

14. LinguimericksBook ८६Academic Communication In Poetry II (62 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ८६ Academic Communication In Poetry II. I once had a brilliant thesis: I chopped syntax up into pieces And linked them to meaning! ’Twas a bright, new beginning And linguistically, well, masterpiec-ious. I sent off this excellent treatise To journal on journal; but ceaseless Replies one by one: ‘It’s too short’ ‘it’s too long’ ‘It’s uneven, facetious and specious.’ I rewrote and revised, made incisions In a cycle of endless revisions. It went off; I prayed; It came back with a weight Of faux academic derision. Then I saw in a wild stroke of genius: ‘This scholarship game is egregious!’ So I wrote ... more ]

15. Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? (59 visits)

Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? This week’s departmental seminar was given by Josh Quipley, who has recently returned from an extensive period conducting “linguistic research” in Europe. Josh spoke about his search for the elusive “South Germans” speakers of the lost fourth branch of the Germanic language family. He said that his research was inspired by a weathervane.1 Josh’s presentation included picture after picture of his stylish journey southward from Germany: Klosters, St. Moritz, Kitzbühel, Zurs, Verbier, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and so on. There were a surprisingly large number of pictures of après-ski for someone who ... more ]

16. Suspended Jail Sentence for World-Renowned Conversation Analyst Phil O’TorqueThe Editors of The Journal of Forbidden Experiments (57 visits)

Suspended Jail Sentence for World-Renowned, Conversation Analyst Phil O’Torque. by The Editors of The Journal of Forbidden Experiments. We’re saddened to report that the world-renowned conversation analyst, Philip Bartholomew ‘Garden in My Wellies’ Geigercounter O’Torque XXVI has been given a suspended jail sentence and struck off from the Association of American, Angolan, Antipodean and Andorran Analysts of Conversation (AAAAAAC) following allegations of impropriety and ethical naughtiness. Phil O’Torque did his PhD at the University of Lower Back, Paine in Chestershire, UK in 1965. Entitled Man, Woman and Plant: The Couple-to/and-Plant Talk ... more ]

17. Lingua Pranca (55 visits)

I U Linguistics Club. Lingua Pranca. T. Ernst & E. Smith, Editors. Indiana University. June 1978. ... i u linguistics club, edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging, ... Lingua, ... Pranca, ... fleur ... T. Ernst & E. Smith, eds. ... indiana university, ... more ]

18. Merchandise (55 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Merchandise. Introduction. In order to lend a hand to our good friends and steadfast supporters over at the Linguist List during their 2006 fund drive, we prepared a small selection of limited edition SpecGram merchandise, including T-shirts, stickers and magnets. Originally these items were only available as prizes awarded as part of the Linguist List fund drive. In 2012, several of the SpecGram editors suffered from a rare form of collective frontal lobe damage, which made it seem like a good idea to put together a SpecGram book. The result in 2013 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. In 2014, Editor Mikael Thompson entered a deep fugue ... more ]

19. Grammaticality Brown Strikes Back (55 visits)

Grammaticality Brown Strikes Back. I been hearing that me old mate Claymore has been responding to my little seedlings on how to grow stuff in your linguistic soil. We all knows about clay soils and acidity, right? It’s like trying to plant Volapük into a bed of National Academies. Anywho, someone else asked me about borrowings and whether you can just transplant, say, a French spring adjectival past participle, into a old Germanic oak. Well, if you like, you can, but let me tell you what happened when someone did that. Old William was famous for his conkers. He even grew 1066 of them one time. He comes over with his mate Norman to plant some lovely French for a guy called Harold, who was famous for his arrow-mint. ... more ]

20. Son of Lingua Pranca (53 visits)

Son of Lingua Pranca. T. Ernst & E. Smith, Editors. Indiana University. IULC. November 1979. ... edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging, ... Son of, ^ Lingua, ... Pranca, ... fleur ... T. Ernst & E. Smith, eds. ... indiana university, ... i u linguistics club, ... more ]

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Last updated Jul. 27, 2021.