Quotes—Page 4: 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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Q988. I have introduced my colleague to the SpecGram podcast, specifically Language Made Difficult. I apologise in advance!

Jonathan Downie

Q987. So what wine does pair well with linguini?

—Mark Anderson

Q986. Scientists Discover New Case System. #brilliant

Shlomo Argamon

Q985. The first question I ask a linguist is, “Are you cunning?”

—Ralph Hickok

Q984. Maybe you should call yourselves ‘languagists’ instead?


Q983. This is an awesome take on a classic math joke: how do subfields of linguistics prove numbers to be prime?


Q982. I very nearly just took @SpecGram seriously without realising it. Writing this essay will be the end of me...

Dan Jordan

Q981. The greatest mistake across all disciplines is taking ourselves (and our positions) far too seriously. Enjoy! Disclaimer: I haven’t proofed the diagrams against the sources cited. Rely on them at your own risk. ;-)

Patrick Durusau

Q980. Wait wait wait... Let’s get to the real issue here. The author’s name is April May June and she is a Freshman in Elementary Education.


Q979. “Hmm taalkundige, hoeveel talen spreek je dan?” #linguist #strikeback

Sanne Berends

Q978. Brilliant#linguists strike back!

Anson W. Mackay

Q977. For the non-linguists among us, speaking lots of languages is something awe-inspiring. And the fact is that lots of linguists are indeed polyglots. So while I like to think that I wouldn’t be crass enough to ask the question, I can understand the instinct, and I think it comes primarily from admiration and envy.


Q976. I doubt people really know what marine biologists, opthamalogists or anesthesiologist actually “do,” either.

—Jeff B.

Q975. We know that speaking lots of languages is a superpower we don’t have. We feel admiration or envy. On the other hand, we don’t know what linguists do. We suspect linguists may pretend to the scientific study of language without knowing languages. We find this possibility funny. We don’t realize that the study of language has nothing to do with actual languages.

—John Swindle

Q974. Interesting that no-one has raised the point that perhaps linguists really ought to be able to speak more than one language....

—Martin Ball

Q973. How do you know these many frameworks?

Matías Guzmán Naranjo

Q972. Yeah, Speculative Grammarian can be pretty funny, although I don’t know enough about linguistics and the academic culture thereof to get a lot of the jokes.


Q971. Aha, du är språkvetare. Hur många språk kan du?

Charlotta af Hällstr

Q970. Within a week of SpecGram publishing [this], everyone is pondering Twitter’s potential downfall.

Peter Bleackley

Q969. I still don’t get the NIVVT. :( Maybe I just don’t have the grasp of all those things well enough. Wait, is it a snoring sound?


Q968. I like the Cartoon Theory of Linguistics about Morphological Typology. Ubykh as like twenty people-morphemes doing acrobatics off a cliff made me lol.


Q967. One for the linguists :-)

Rachel Cotterill

Q966. I found this great satire of conlangs and thought other people ... would enjoy it, too. The article is called “Doing Fieldwork on Constructed Languages”.


Q965. I think this might be me, except in Everett, Washington.

—Brooke Larson

Q964. Do some of those words perhaps have something to do with Amharic being a Semitic language, and Turkish having loanwords from Arabic, which is also a Semitic language?


Q963. The linguist strikes back!

Language Writer

Q962. This is 35 years old & still awesome.

Darin Flynn

Q961. なんだこれはwwwwww


Q960. The big paperback is a huge value.

J Paul S

Q959. SpecGram is the best thing to happen to satirical linguistics since Chomsky convinced everyone he was being serious in 1957.

A Punning Linguist

Q958. Speculative Grammarian, as well as monthly satirical articles, has a range of books, including a Primer in SF Xenolinguistics.

Sean Roberts

Q957. Oh, Speculative Grammarian... what would we do without you...

Andrew Hardie

Q956. The linguists strike back. ... Beaming with pride as I see this. :)

Vandana Bajaj

Q955. I’m a lawyer. Given how many people, on meeting me, think it’s amusing to insult me to my face, I’d love to be asked how many languages I speak.


Q954. So is the joke that linguists always get asked how many languages they know?


Q953. Thirteen really untranslatable words.

Talk the Talk

Q952. Oh my goodness I have got to start applying their success criteria to my projects.

David Smith

Q951. I lolled at the note about the nasal ingressive voiceless velar trill when I came upon it. But I guess you need to know phonetics quite well to get it.


Q950. Ahahahaha

Asymptotic Binary

Q949. I kill Chomsky and take his place as grand high linguistic poobah.


Q948. I kinda liked the “choose your own career in linguistics” module.


Q947. I browsed through some of [SpecGram’s] material ... and found it rather amusing.


Q946. To those of you still fretting over the Oxford Comma dilemma, the “august journal” Speculative Grammarian offers [a] solution.

Marian Dougan

Q945. Speaking of throat-clears, I suppose it would not be off-topic to make mention of [this] satirical article.

Mike Jones

More ...

Last updated Nov. 29, 2019.