19 March 2010

Calling All Satirical Linguists and Linguistic Satirists

It isn't easy studying linguistics at university. Not only do you have to keep on coming up with creative answers to the frequently asked question, "so which languages do you speak?" (pi?) but often, you can't even find your textbooks in a library or a bookshop (linguistics books are found variably with the philosophy, modern languages, psychology, science and even new age sections). No matter how many times you explain that linguistics is "the science of language" or that it involves the study of the evolution, structure, form, history, acquisition and variation of language (among other things), you are invariably met with a look of scepticism. "That's a real subject?"

There is help, however. Or, at least, company. I was in my third year at university when I discovered the Speculative Grammarian (AKA SpecGram), a wonderful, hysterical, satirical, online linguistics journal. A fellow linguist (yes, linguist; linguistician is such an ugly word) pointed me in the direction of the Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics page and once I'd stopped laughing, I managed to move my mouse pointer towards some of the earlier issues of the journal and it's been keeping me in in-jokes ever since. Some of my favourite articles include:

SpecGram is, thankfully, free and they have just put out a call for papers and I got this email from the Managing Editor, Trey Jones:

My main purpose in writing is to ask you to promote SpecGram just a little bit more by encouraging people you know, online and in real life, to send submissions to SpecGram. We have published satirical and humorous articles, poems, cartoons, ads, and all sorts of other material—and no field within or related to linguistics is off limits. SpecGram always has been and always will be free, and everything we do is built on submissions from readers and donated time from editors and other supporters. So, if you have something worthy of the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics, submit it! If not, please donate a little time and pass the word along.

You can submit your SpecGram contributions here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks so much for that glowing praise! That was a wonderful introduction to SpecGram (and the "joys" of being a linguist, too!)

    -Trey (of SpecGram)