Quotes—Page 9: 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.

Jump to page:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Q750. Those make my day. Now its finally clear as light!!!

Bisabuelo Inc.


—How Deep is the Rabbit Hole?

Q748. Languages are all beautiful, regardless how hard they are to master.

Travels Tales and Typos

Q747. Seriously reconsidering my decision to not study language.


Q746. I must be dumb. :-(

—Silicon Valley Burnout

Q745. BOOOO. It’s an attractive system, but not particularly descriptively useful.


Q744. Review of the new Speculative Grammarian book begins, “Ben Zimmer and The Harvard Lampoon have a torrid one-night affair (over a spaghetti and lasagna dinner) from which results a lovely baby.” That’s quite an image.

Ben Zimmer

Q743. Hippie Linguists? I need The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics.

Jessica Love

Q742. Must-read for satirical linguists.

Paola Bortesi

Q741. SpecGram has a book out. Linguistics dorks rejoice!

James Harbeck

Q740. Xmas list must.

Paula Chertok

Q739. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of SpecGram back catalog, and ashamed to admit I’m not incredibly familiar with it.

Brianne Hughes

Q738. Love the newest LMD, you guys are clever! The proof is in the outtakes :)

—Veronika Richtarcikova

Q737. Essential seems right.

David Spencer

Q736. Oh man I really recommend that How Linguistics Got Her Groove Back paper. <3


Q735. Speculative Grammarian is a joke journal covering “the neglected field of satirical linguistics”. Other articles in this issue include Romney accusing Obama of planning to eliminate verbs from AmEng, and one about a secret underground group of linguists working to sabotage natural language processing. (Granted, a little while back they actually had a very good primer on coming up with “alien” conlangs for science fiction...)


Q734. The point ... is well taken, but I think making the claim that linguists don’t use the word ‘grammar’ may be misleading.


Q733. SpecGram is pretty much awesome so you should buy their book!

Wug Life

Q732. As with much satire, the more you know about various linguistics theories, the more you appreciate the various ways of making fun of them, so I probably wouldn’t recommend [The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics] for very beginner protolinguists (although you could perhaps gauge your learning by how many of the jokes you get?) but if you like the articles and cartoons on SpecGram in general, then this is a great collection of the best ones, which can get buried in the monthly issues on the website. And if you’re not sure if you like the articles in general, then browsing the website is a pretty easy way to find out.

All Things Linguistic

Q731. [The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics] would make a great coffeetable book to impress your ling friends.

All Things Linguistic

Q730. While I don’t know that I would call [The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics] “essential”, I will tell you that it is essentially absurd and all-encompassing. ... There are many impressive diagrams and illustrations that really shed light on the more difficult topics (they also add to the aesthetically pleasing nature of the book). I do believe that this book is an overwhelming indulgence that should not be avoided.

Laura Payne

Q729. Complete with a choose-your-own-career-in-linguistics adventure game (German-sign-language-shaped dice not included), [The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics] is the ultimate gift for the budding language student, the jaded academic or the holistic forensic linguist. And just in time for Christmas.

Sean Roberts

Q728. What does a Labio-nasal sound like? What is the laziest language on earth? How can a knowledge of linguistics help make macaroni cheese? What is the tiny phoneme hypothesis? Where can you find a book that synergises all the loose ends of linguistics into a unified, transparent theory? I don’t know. In the meanwhile, try reading The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics.

Sean Roberts

Q727. The editors and contributors obviously know their stuff, don’t take themselves (or their discipline) over-seriously, and enjoy playing with linguistics, language, and languages to create something new, amusing, and (dare we say) even educational at times. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics provides a light-hearted romp for those unafraid to plunge into the invigorating and hilarious waters of ‘satirical linguistics.’

Don Boozer

Q726. Like satire? The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics is here!


Q725. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (unabashed promotion of awesome humor!)

Wug Life

Q724. Everything you like about Speculative Grammariannow in print!!

Callum Robson

Q723. Haven’t you been wishing you had copies of Speculative Grammarian lying around the house for entertainment in those odd moments of boredom? Now you can!

Keith Slater

Q722. NEED.

—Lovers Without Wings

Q721. I think I need this. Very, very much.


Q720. A completely incomprehensible paragraph from SpecGram.

Laura Bailey

Q719. Long live Speculative Grammarian!

наташа короткова

Q718. [Statistical translation] is, of course, dangerous if you can’t speak the target language, since many glaring mistakes can fall through, as this nice comic shows.

Jorge Diz

Q717. Oh finally, a sensible explanation.


Q716. Joining SpecGram has been the best thing I’ve ever done for the health of my liver.

Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

Q715. I love SpecGram so much!! [P]roto-linguists [don’t] necessarily ... get all the jokes for sure, but that’s not to say we (at least I) get a good amount of them, and whenever I see a joke I don’t get, it makes for a good research topic! SpecGram is a wonderful place to browse when you don’t feel like going through the sometimes stressfully wonderful Wikipedia, but want to learn something linguisticky :D Also it’s hilarious and really comforting when I do get a joke, because I know I’ve learned something :)


Q714. This fascinates me.


Q713. Fascinant...


Q712. Give me all the linguistic things! Or, you know, all the linguistic things with helpful pictoral diagrams so that I can actually begin to understand what I’m asking for.

Sheath and Shear

Q711. I kind of love the conjoined quintuplets in the Spanish sentence.

aeternā mente

Q710. Linguistics is my new favourite subject :D

—Ángela López

Q709. Linguist here, can confirm it’s just the way language works.


Q708. I’m a regular listener and a fan. ... Thanks for being awesome.

—Veronika Richtarcikova

Q707. Thanks SpecGram—you high-brow journal, you.

Ronaldo Lorrenzo Jorge VonSperling-Dovenski

Q706. Pff. If only Speculative Grammarian weren’t venerable, only contained mediocre articles, and less instead of more, at least I’d read it then...

David Njenfalgar

Q705. This is how you make kids love linguistics: Structural Ambiguity.

Doby Banov

Q704. Just all kinds of awesomeness.

Pia Massaro

Q703. How did I miss this? In case you ever wanted to know the difference between phonetics and phonology, here’s a diagram that explains all.


Q702. Here’s a funny example of Fake Russian Accent in broad IPA.


Q701. The Oxford Comma: A Solution, brought to you by the beloved Cockney flower vendor, Eliza Doolittle.


More ...

Last updated Nov. 29, 2019.