Lingua Pranca

Shocker: I’m going to post about something other than knitting for once!

The newest issue of SpecGram is up (actually, Speculative Grammarian, containing much linguistic humor). It’s a reprint of Lingua Pranca from 1978, but it’s still funny as hell. It’s the source of the classic linguistics joke, Dates in the Month of May that Are of Interest to Linguists. It contains gems like this one:

May 5, 1403: The Great English Vowel Shift begins. Giles of Tottenham calls for ale at his favorite pub and is perplexed when the barmaid tells him that the fishmonger is next door.

(Note: If you’re not sure what the Great English Vowel Shift is, read about it here or here. Basically, it’s the reason why English vowels are so different from the vowels in other Germanic languages. And why Giles of Tottenham said ‘ale’ in the joke and the barmaid heard ‘eel’.)

Fun with nerdy humor!

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2 thoughts on “Lingua Pranca

  1. oh my god. I have found a linguist I like. thank you dancing barefoot. You have renewed my faith.
    I have spent the last three years and a pile of cash on therapy and booze dealing with a socially inept, mysogynest professor of linguistics who had turned me off of the whole profession. Oh and I had to edit every last piece of writing he had done so that he looked good to the world.
    I could just do a dance, instead i will finish my classics homework

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