Quotes—Page 13: 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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Q550. What a lazy translator.


Q549. But, like, literally, who told them what ‘Bite my ass’ was in Lakota? Inquiring minds need to know!


Q548. I love that ‘Dothraki’ is on the list of languages.


Q547. Finally! An online translator without simple syntax errors.


Q546. Man, I wish there were a way to get my Spanish students to use this when they want a translator, so it was 100% obvious who was cheating. I mean, right now it’s about 85% obvious, but this would be awesome.


Q545. Aim your friends at it if you want to embarrass them, maybe.


Q544. This is a very obvious joke. I tried both English to German and German to English.


Q543. Well... I f***ed Claudia Black and Ben Browder. Not bad, ... not bad.


Q542. Stuff in there is eerily similar to how it actually works. That is probably the most realistic Choose Your Own sim I’ve ever played, at least in terms of possible results, even if all the paths chosen to get there are not set in stone in real life.


Q541. Hah, this is a pretty funny take on it but still gives good food for thought. In real life, I chose the one where you end up majoring in economics. Thankfully I haven’t turned into the empty shell of a man that this tool suggests is in store for me... at least not yet.


Q540. The “Language Made Difficult” podcast [will] fill your ears and your heart with linguistic laughter.

The LINGUIST List Crew

Q539. Read and be merry: The perennial classic, “Choose Your Own Career in Lingustics

The LINGUIST List Crew

Q538. Lingua Pranca is also quite funny.


Q537. This ... has some hilarious ambiguities.


Q536. Not only do they have the AutoGrammatikon, they have a Com­pleat En­cy­clo­pae­dia of Com­pen­di­ous His­tor­i­cal Lex­i­cons of Ob­scure and Ar­cha­ic Ver­nac­u­lar and No­men­cla­ture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Linguistics is just TOO cool!!!

Jennifer Banks

Q535. This is the best thing ever. Sounds like the best nerd party one could ever ask to go to. Now to go listen to the rest of them!


Q534. Haha wow. Would you like fries with that?


Q533. Among empirically-minded linguists seeking to criticize less empirically-minded linguists, the phrase “physics envy” ... is not taking a rigorous empirical model an applying it inappropriately to fuzzy human data. Instead it borrowing unrigorous mathematical ideas to cover up for the fact that you don’t want to build an empirical model. This cartoon sums it up nicely.

W.P. McNeill

Q532. Different languages have different standards for Braille. At a meeting yesterday, we wondered whether there was a standard for Klingon Braille. Turns out, the scholars at Speculative Grammarian have already investigated this question.

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Q531. Life’s little pleasures: Satirical linguistics


Q530. Surprisingly touching linguist love poem

Marc Geraud L’Heureux

Q529. Anyway, Speculative Grammarian, the satirical linguistics magazine (yes, there is one) has a nice article about linguists at cocktail parties, in which this crops up. It shows, by means of statistics, that the diseases line plays the best. ... And it also shows that you shouldn’t conduct surveys at cocktail parties.


Q528. [I was reminded of] this hilarious piece of work. The reader might want to ponder the many links you’d have to posit for any causal chain explaining the correlation...but probably not.


Q527. The fricative may be said to be negatively associated with eating, in that it strikes the ear as an expectorant sound, that is relating to the magically powerful actions of spitting and vomit. The guttural is at work in this way in the eecchh! and urghhh! of digust. ‘Eating the Wind’, by Claude Searsplainpockets of Speculative Grammarian ... is an account of the elaborate ‘gastro-pulmonic’ system of [a] tribe called the Xoŋry, which sets out their elaborately-particularised designations and phonic enactments of compound activities of eating, speaking spitting, snorting, devouring and vomiting, including words for ‘to eat while talking’, ‘to snort up the nose while talking’, ‘to projectile vomit, while talking’.

Steven Connor

Q526. SpecGram is great and so is their podcast


Q525. Ah, SpecGram magnet, how you hold my dog’s rabies certificate on my fridge!

Laura V

Q524. Been catching up on back episodes of “Language Made Difficult” from the Speculative Grammarian podcast. Because I’m the kind of dork who finds language (and linguists) endlessly entertaining.

Colin MacDonald

Q523. I’ve been listening to the SpecGram podcasts lately. They really are tremendous fun. Thanks, and keep up the awesomeness!

Colin MacDonald

Q522. [What’s the difference between phonetics and phonology?] Here’s a humorous illustration I sometimes use in introductory courses.


Q521. This on-line publication is the self-proclaimed “premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics”. Nothing to add.

—Valentin Werner

Q520. Ого, круто!


Q519. Этот намного лучше.


Q518. A self-helf group for an affliction that often befalls linguists: Conlangers Anonymous.


Q517. Atklāju priekš sevis (iespējams, citi to apguvuši jau pamatskolā) ko jaunu, tb tādu zvēru kā “glotohronoloģija”. :)


Q516. Speculative Grammarian, to be taken in monthly parts.

Upper Caisse

Q515. Immer wieder lesenswert: Speculative Grammarian

Ursula Stangel

Q514. Speculative Grammarian (the journal of “satirical linguistics”) published a piece recently entitled The Lexicalist Agenda: Exposing the Myths. ‘It’s a hoot’, says the Sesquipeditor -- ‘3 thumbs up!’.


Q513. Hwæt! WTF?!


Q512. This may be the most closely argued piece of linguistics since Verner wrote on the voicing of Germanic fricatives, or at least since “Remarks on Nominalization”.

Team Verb

Q511. The latest issue includes a contribution that deftly slices away our reason for being. Or maybe jabs at it with a rusty blade. I mean the “Ask Mr. Language Person” piece answering the question [“Why do languages decay?”].

Team Verb

Q510. Despite the name, this prestigious prize [the Chiasmus of the Month award] apparently does not get awarded every month, so double congratulations, Stephanie and Richie!

Maria Gouskova

Q509. Speaking of jargon, here’s a handy list for the layperson.




Q507. It’s nothing porcine, I assure you.


Q506. Speculative Grammarian was brought up as an example of satirical linguistics but the punchlines require rather too much technical knowledge for a layperson.

—Lauren Gawne

Q505. Ooooh, someone is bitter :D


Q504. I worry both that this may have been already seen by those who can appreciate it, and that it might go over the heads of everyone else. If so, apologies. Nonetheless, SpecGram’s occasional salvos at formalist theoretical excesses always make my day, even when reread.


Q503. Oh Speculative Grammarian why do you always publish a new issue when I’m most behind with schoolwork? I’m dying with laughter and I don’t think my supervisor would find this article very funny if I presented it as my excuse... even though she is, like, the only other person I can share its utmost hilarity with... :(

Marina Lauer

Q502. I love SpecGram, even though it makes me sad that after 3 years of university education in linguistics, I can only understand about half of it!


Q501. I have this shirt from SpecGram. I’ve had to stop wearing it because people would stop me and stare at it and ask me to explain all the time :(


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Last updated Nov. 29, 2019.