Quotes—Page 3: 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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Q1032. There is a blog called Speculative Grammarian, which is all about linguistic satire. I found this strange, short poem there. It made me laugh. I doubt it will make you laugh. The poem’s authorship is attributed to Bill Spruiell, who, like all the SpecGram writers, is fictional.


Q1031. If grammar were the topic of advice columns.


Q1030. Pssh, totally unscientific, unlike this journal article.


Q1029.University of Sprouts, Brussels”... seems legit


Q1028. Speculative Grammarian is the most rigorous linguistic journal there is!


Q1027. This is totally me.

Logopedist Linguist

Q1026. Thanks to my efforts writing for Speculative Grammarian, I have extensively studied many different branches of linguistics and other fields that I never had to know in grad school. Of course, none of that knowledge makes it into SpecGram because I prefer to apply it to venues that actually advance my career, but as a catalyst that furthers the reactions of others but itself remains unchanged, Speculative Grammarian is a modern-day treasure.

—Mikael Thompson

Q1025. Thanks for keeping me from the important stuff I was supposed to be doing! ;)


Q1024. For more adventures in linguistic self-reference, see @SpecGram’s fun series, e.g. [Grammatical Categories] & [Semantics & Pragmatics]

Stan Carey

Q1023. I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle, and will now need to bone up on my rhetoric.

—James Hyett

Q1022. I have a perfect Mayan word to describe this article, but sadly I can’t express it in English.


Q1021. But linguistics isn’t a science! runs very fast in the direction of away


Q1020. That’s like super meta doubleplusgood badling.


Q1019. wut


Q1018. Útmutató szakszövegek értéséhezízelítő egy pihent folyóirat legújabb számából.

Márton Gyula Nyelvészeti Szakkollégium

Q1017. I didn’t know SpecGram was a Foundation memetics journal.


Q1016. You aren’t going to tell me you don’t know SpecGram, right? ... Now spend all of your free time reading articles there.


Q1015. That’s hilarious! And not actually wrong about the lexicon....

Joel Derfner

Q1014. How grammar is taught in school (or how Strunk & White teach style).

Alessandra Zarcone

Q1013. Speculative Grammarian: A language Tumblr with a satirical twist for the common lexicographer.

Tumblr Staff

Q1012. I have the book which has this and it was super fun.


Q1011. It’s funny 😊


Q1010. I’ve always hated the “untranslatable words” blog posts that crop up, that ... is really funny satire.


Q1009. Oh my god.

The data shows that articulators are used.
....well, you’re not wrong....

Q1008. Apparently there’s a comedy magazine about linguistics? I like the cartoon featured in this month’s issue of Speculative Grammarian.

—Andrew Toskin

Q1007. Not only badling, but badhist as well. kek. ... Those were truly untranslatable words. I didn’t even bother reading them.


Q1006. Warning: SpecGram is addictive for linguists.

Jonathan Downie

Q1005. Take that, non-linguists of the world. :-)


Q1004. I’m not so sure about constlangoleur, but if you shorten it to conlangoleur, I think I like that better than conlanger. That should catch on.


Q1003. *blinks multiple times*

Huw James

Q1002. SpecGram is amazing. My favorite is the recurring Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know (Because They Aren’t Actually True), featuring purportedly real quotes from real student work by real college students. There’s one in particular, a test question asking about phonological processes/allophony, that has some particularly hysterical answers. Here’s an example, but if you search “ten dots” in the archive you can find others.

It’s a marvelous magazine.


Q1001. Want to understand the reviewer feedback on your last journal paper? This is a useful guide.

Jonathan Downie

Q1000. Hoe verhoudt linguïstiek zich tot andere wetenschappen? Goede cartoon.

sonja barentsen

Q999. I don’t think that linguists “ought to” know multiple languages per se—but the reason the comic doesn’t ring true is that linguists are reminded, upon hearing this question, of the fact that they would undoubtedly be better at their jobs if they did know more languages.


Q998. I’m loving some of this. Specially the one that says “bring a weird grammar”.


Q997. Knowing lots of languages is probably not a job requirement for a linguist, however I can think of one very famous linguist who would be a lot better off if he knew a couple of languages other than English. Especially ones that are as dissimilar from English as possible.

—John Roth

Q996. Should have stuck with philologist instead of trying to change the meaning of linguist, eh?


Q995. I get good results from asking a philosopher “What’s the big idea?”

—Dan Lufkin

Q994. Linguists’ revenge to the old chestnut “so, how many languages do you speak?”

Cath Cellier-Smart

Q993. D’après Levi-Strauss, les anthropologues feraient de la #LinguistEnvy comme les linguistes font de la #PhysicsEnvy.

Cruel & Unusual

Q992. And then there’s the ethical aspect: How many languages are German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian? I usually say 2½. If it were Iceandic, Basque, Mandarin, Urdu, Tongan and Quechua then it really would be six.

—Dan Lufkin

Q991. Salvete! This month’s Speculative Grammarian (an online satirical linguistics journal) has an article on Latin that I found amusing.


Q990. I don’t get the comic. Are linguists asking these questions based on what the words’ roots literally mean? Because then it doesn’t make any sense. X-ologist is someone who studies X, not someone who has many things that have to do with X. Anesthesiologist is the closest one to make any sense, but it is still “one who studies not feeling”, not “one who doesn’t feel”.


Q989. Speculative Grammarian: satirical linguistics articles, including a “choose your career in linguistics” link that guides you to your future!

Northeastern University Linguistics

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Last updated Nov. 29, 2019.