Quotes—Page 18: 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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Q300. I’m a fan of the Balloon Animal State Machine approach, myself.


Q299. Speculative Grammarian is a collection of linguistic satire. There is a load of stuff there, but this set of puns caught my eye.

Sean Roberts

Q298. Thank you once again for SpecGram. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me wonder if I can cite it in my PhD.

—Jonathan Downie

Q297. I absolutely love SpecGram. It points out so many patent absurdities that it is surprising that it has not already become the most cited lingustics journal of all time. Hopefully, such ridicule will eventually lead to some of the stranger and crazier aspects of studies in liguistics being sorted, or at least made into funny cartoons.

—Jonathan Downie

Q296. I suppose this illustrates my preference over experimental methods of inquiry instead of simply sitting down and theorizing on linguistic phenomena.


Q295. Here’s a funny article from Speculative Grammarian, a satirical take on the academic field of linguistics.


Q294. Weird ‘n’ wicked

Sabine Bartsch

Q293. The premier online source for linguistics humor (Yes, linguistics humor).

The Conlanger’s Library

Q292. Less seriously, see this.

—eldin raigmore

Q291. Hm, I wonder what kind of linguist wrote this test...

LSA Concordia Linguists

Q290. Very sadly it doesn’t actually add up—even assuming that half the turducken makes it into the casserole, and half the casserole makes it as sausage into the next turducken, that’s still a factor of 4 reduction each week. The stated 4,487 turduckens collectively represent a reduction by a factor of 44487 or about 102700. Assuming a turkey is mainly proteins with a molecular mass of say 2000, a turkey is about two moles (mmm, turkey mole) or 1024 molecules. That means the chances of an original molecule being in a 2008 serving is about 1 in 102676. Unless Dr Clarke is a homeopathist, he probably won’t be able to taste the original olive.


Q289. Caution. The calculations of Bjorn-Bob Weaselflinger of the Oceanographic Institute of Nevada imply that construction of a sufficiently meta dumpling could trigger the collapse of local space into a gravitational singularity (although this may have already happened at the creation of our universe).


Q288. But you have to admit...“meta-dumplings” sounds tasty!


Q287. That is the awesomest thing I have ever heard of (though the statistically significant olive particles from 1922 are kinda gross).


Q286. I had totally forgotten about SpecGram.


Q285. I LOVE SPECGRAM!!!! Especially “Cartoon theories of linguistics”.


Q284. I love SpecGram.


Q283. I also read SpecGram and want to be published there.

—Jonathan Downie

Q282. Не знаю, как я это раньше упустил. Если вы интересуетесь лингвистикойвам обязательно надо читать Speculative Grammarian. Если интересуетесь поверхностното хотя бы вещи типа Dates in the Month of May that Are of Interest to Linguists или The Linguist’s Self-Definer (это из древнего сборника Lingua Pranca). А лингвистамчитать почти всё...


Q281. Now, that was a real knee-slapper!!


Q280. The symbol (and sometimes the sound itself) is called ‘oink’. It was used in some medieval texts along ‘ash’, ‘thorn’ etc.—although much less frequently, which explains why even some experts seem not to know about it


Q279. Be a sport and produce this sound. ... I dare you to make this sound. If you’re feeling a little nervy about it, here’s my advice: lie down on your back, close your eyes and in just a few minutes you could be producing this sound regularly.


Q278. I urge you ... to enjoy this delightful, humorous site. Choosing your own career in linguistics is really fun. Many of the puzzles and games should elicit a smile or two as well. My favorite is the Self-Defining Puzzle.

—Trudy Bentley Rech

Q277. For those ... who have a good sense of ironic humor, I would heartily recommend checking out the website of Speculative Grammarian.

—Trudy Bentley Rech

Q276. Also, we should not forget Speculative Grammarian, the foremost journal in the field of satirical linguistics.


Q275. Moram s vama da podelim jedan burleskan, duhoviti, ali u suštini kritički, kao bajagi sociolingvistički tekstić, iz jednog satiričnog lingvističkog časopisa, koji je povezan s ovom temom: „O uljudnosti prema ženama u slovenskim jezicima“, Émil Schouwiniste-Pigge

—Ђорђе Божовић

Q274. Your site is a scream. I just came across it trying to fake my way into seeming smarter in front of my 16-year-old, who is living my academic ambitions. I look forward to reading more and to learning why people smirk briefly when I refer to philology.

—Mike Brown

Q273. A bit of linguistic dork humor.


Q272. My favourite was “syllables”.


Q271. Funny!


Q270. I’m loving it! My favourite was Phonology vs. Phonetics.


Q269. I just found this: Cartoon Theories of Linguistics


Q268. Ahh, what can prosody not tell one about syntax?

Online Ennui

Q267. Brilliant. I’m tempted to record myself saying each [meaning of “pretty little girl’s school”] with appropriate stress.


Q266. Numerus: Singular, Plural und auch Dual! Wer hätte das je gedacht? Ich wollte mehr darüber wissen und ... Danach fand ich diese ironisch gemeinte Website.


Q265. Opettelemalla muutaman gootinkielisen lauseen saa varmaakin helposti ystäviä oikeista ´gooteista.

—sitten vaan

Q264. You might find this cartoon instructive.


Q263. The Probem With NLP: I just found this source while investigating Garden Path sentences, and it kind of blew my mind about how the words and phrases we use carry multiple meanings.


Q262. You must know about Speculative Grammarian? The online journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics? Pure gold. Try the choose your own career in linguistics game.


Q261. Some of my favorite linguist humor—U.S. Government Linguists in Action


Q260. Вот так, зайдешь в интернет по маленькой надобности...и вдруг узнаёшь СТРАШНОЕ! Винни Пух-то, оказывается, ни разу не “англичанин”! Доказательство.


Q259. Thought you guys might be amused by this—it’s a paper from the linguistic version of the Journal of Irreproducible Results, entitled “Linguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game Hunting.” Much of its humor comes from knowledge of linguistic fields, but one does not have to be a linguist to understand that this is hilarious.

Amhran na Sidhe

Q258. Even though I anticipated the punchline, this [cartoon] still made me laugh just loud enough for everyone in the computer lab I’m currently sat in to look at me strangely.

Janus Jacquet

Q257. Sorry in advance to all our TM/computation linguistics friends but these cartoons are hilarious. The first is on automatic text alignment and the second is on computational linguistics. (Yes, I am a nerd.)

Jonathan Downie

Q256. The [CLV.ζ] issue is a bit hardcore in its pseudo-geekery and meta-meta-humour, even for me, but while I was there, I checked out the December [2008] issue and had a good chortle at How They Do It in Linguistics (“Syntacticians do it with trees,” “Neurolinguists do it with magnets,” “Phonologists do it with deviation,” ad infinitum, ad nauseam)—ah, the oldies but goodies—and a poetic duel between a “practical speller” and a “skeptical speller,” of which I am sure that George Bernard ghoti Shaw would approve (annoyingly, that reference was included at the end of the poem so I can’t claim to be clever here, although I did think of it by myself).


Q255. My all-time favourite SpecGram post [is] Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics, which indulges both my linguistic geekery and my nostalgia for choose your own adventure books, and which is funny ‘cause it’s true.


Q254. The best satirical linguistics newsletter this side of the—well, the best one ever. It may be the only one, as well...hmm.

—Iridescent Rainbow

Q253. Det er et tilbagevendende tema på SpecGram om nasal ingressive voiceless velar trill skal indføres i IPA-skemaet eller ej. Det foreslåede IPA-symbol er det såkaldte double-dot wide-o. Se det er noget der kan få en fonetiker til at fnise.

Ruben Schachtenhaufen

Q252. Hvis du ikke kender Speculative Grammarian, så tag et kig på det. Det er lingvistisk satire på højt plan.

Ruben Schachtenhaufen

Q251. That’s wonderfully awesome. *snort* (..)


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Last updated Nov. 29, 2019.