Quotes—Page 14: More of What People are Saying

Here are a few more of our favorite things people have said about Speculative Grammarian over the years, collected wild on the internet, or domesticated in email.

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Q500. Good overview/visual intro to the topic for lay people.


Q499. Und wer den “Speculative Grammarian” nicht kennt, hat wirklich was verpasst. Eine ganze Satirezeitschrift nur für/von/über Linguisten.

Jan Wohlgemuth

Q498. If you get to the bottom of the article, there’s definitely show of Tongue in Cheek. :)


Q497. I hope this is satirical


Q496. They lost me at ‘Futurological’...


Q495. Went over my head / made me giggle then felt a little spooked.


Q494. Well, at least we do have a canonical set of tests to tell linguists from philosophers.

John Lawler

Q493. The SpecGram post also pokes fun at the Skopos theory of translation. Hilarious and worth the time.

—Saqer A

Q492. This is my favourite thing you have ever published

Madeleine McCallum

Q491. Am enjoying @SpecGram’s To the Field Workers to Make Much of Time.

Macmillan Dictionary

Q490. SpecGram’s podcasts are sharp, silly, and fun.

Stan Carey

Q489. Haven’t delved yet, but this looks like an interesting page for linguists and other wordnerds.

Macmillan Dictionary

Q488. I love SpecGram!

Joe Kessler

Q487. [SpecGram is] more fun than a barrel filled with n monkeys with x reflective indicators in a partial least squares path model.

Jonathan Downie

Q486. Without doubt, Speculative Grammarian is the world’s premier Satirical Linguistics journal.

Jonathan Downie

Q485. Some of us stopped submitting to SpecGram because we have to concentrate on writing that will earn.

Aya Katz

Q484. Oh baby, let’s try the nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill tonight.


Q483. I don’t know if anyone reads Speculative Grammarian (SpecGram), but I just saw this today: OdCom. It made me laugh, at least.


Q482. Haha–I can’t wait to find time to read this!!

Jon Silpayamanant

Q481. Justin B. Rye at Speculative Grammarian has a delightful Primer in SF Xenolinguistics. Rye offers ten rules of SF and fantasy language clichés, muses briefly yet thoroughly on the ways in which alien languages might differ from human languages and the ways in which they probably won’t, and discusses potential issues with universal translators.

Plus, he’s funny. “I pity C-3PO, kept as a slave translator for biochauvinist rebels in a society where everything understands English anyway.”


Q480. Wenn ihr den Witz nicht versteht, macht, was der Editor gesagt habt, lest euch rein. Es ist einfach zuuuuu genial. Nasal-ingressive stimmlose velare Trills sind in der Tat... außergewöhnlich. Lach mich schlapp.


Q479. What will become of a linguistics major?

La vie est belle

Q478. This kills me, as the only way to get a job is when “Prof. Johnson” kicks the bucket, and my dear friend is a Prof. Johnson of linguistics hahahaha


Q477. The “choose your own career in linguistics” game! It’s fun, I promise! :)

—agents verbing patients

Q476. The Compleat Encyclopaedia of Compendious Historical Lexicons of Obscure and Archaic Vernacular and Nomenclature: The best dictionary on the web! So great, it knows definitions of words that don’t even exist!

Brian Slattery

Q475. This figure showing Examples of phronological Evidence is killing me! “Darth voiceless vaders”... “heimlich ejectives”... tee hee!


Q474. This journal rules!


Q473. How have I never encountered this amazing website before?


Q472. I love SpecGram. So, so much. I even have a nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill shirt.


Q471. I lost it multiple times.


Q470. Thanks for introducing me to SpecGram, you bastard. I have an essay due tomorrow, you know.


Q469. I’m quite fond of the phonologist one myself, since I was forced to sit through a semester of very, very abstract phonology.


Q468. The Lab Phonetician one made me laugh.


Q467.You do well, and 20 years later, you are successful, happy, and productive. You make a good living, do interesting work every day, and have sharp colleagues to keep you on your toes. Your home life is tranquil and pleasant, and you have lots of time off every year to do your own thing. Life is grand!’ Damn right! Now if only ‘work hard’ was indeed a single click and not 5+ years of grueling torture.


Q466. Oh my goodness gracious, I could waste my entire life reading [SpecGram]. The choose your own adventure career game is my favorite so far though...


Q465. I am thrilled that you have come across the title of my talk and considered it worthy of the Chiasmus award. I am an advocate of the interface of science and research with wit, style and rhetoric. I, of course, am honoured to accept the award and condone the use of my title/ abstract/ name in your publications. My Chiasmus of the Month will indeed be my month of chiasmus.

—David M T Arnold

Q464. It’s a balance you guys strike well—that rare ability to use the words “phonotactics” and “poopyhead” in the same joke.

Ben Trawick-Smith

Q463. The “Pantheon-Based Theory of Grammar” is quite funny as well.


Q462. Heh, quite funny. I’m fighting an addiction to velaric ingressives myself.


Q461. Nowadays we have kinda decent natural language parsers.


In my opinion, these still have a long way to go. (Panel #3 is my personal favorite.)

Vladimir M

Q460. This is my new favorite thing, courtesy of the Speculative Grammarian.


Q459. How would a linguist translate “Dumber than a box of rocks” from the original Texan? Easy: “Dumber than a department of Sapir-Whorfians.” There’s a whole mess of useful conversions in “Texan for Linguists.”

Nancy Friedman

Q458. Qualcuno, poi, per risolvere il problema ha inventato nuovi simboli, il Quotta e il Quottiod!


Q457. I, for one, welcome our new serious overlords.

David Bowie

Q456. What I learned about the relationship of coffee to adult conversation was priceless

Keith Hersch

Q455. Everything I learned about linguistics I learned from the Speculative Grammarian.

Keith Hersch

Q454. Any discussion of a Wordnik takeover of SpecGram is purely speculative.

Erin McKean

Q453. That would be meeting the Serious Linguists on their own specious terms. You could not hope to survive. Only subvert to prosper.

Stan Carey

Q452. Keep linguistic conflict in the abstract domain—only there can satire prevail. You might be no match for the Fist of Generativism!

Stan Carey

Q451. Trying to explain the joy of SpecGram to non-linguists is like someone trying to explain the joy of advanced mathematics to me.

Carin Marais

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Last updated Nov. 29, 2019.