I had to share this and hope someone shares on Baal too.
From: Teaching Linguistics <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Dave Sayers <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 10 December 2018 18:03
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Twas the Night Before Christmas (Linguists' Edition!) + other seasonal fun
Hello one and all, and /jəʊhəʊhəʊ/! Happy Non-Denominational Solstace-Related Period
of Universal Annual Leave! 🎅
Every year I spam round this poem, to raise a smile, and sometimes raise some money!
Here I go again, as usual first with some diversions and appeals, before the seasonal
This year my family and I migrated from the UK to Finland, land of forests! And as
Donald Trump recently explained (https://youtu.be/nwL6GWYg34M?t=20), in Finland we
take care of forests. We "spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing
things". Exactly! So I took the following festive snap of me doing my new Finnish
duty and taking care of the forest:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hBCgFNjJCZilL62qU1QIGTAA61MvV-Nx/. Thanks to my
efforts, no fires will spark in that totally flammable patch of forest. Meanwhile I
also convinced Liz Peterson at Helsinki, another immigrant linguist in Finland (and
actual American!), into the same embarrassing nonsense:
But as migrants, Liz and I have a special sympathy with the exposure that comes with
leaving the motherland (even if, frankly, as members of a highfalutin academic elite,
we did it in about the easiest way possible). So we've been even more troubled than
otherwise by one of Donald Trump's less amusing policies, namely separating migrant
So, linguists of the world, our appeal this year is for charities helping those
separated families. Here's a useful page for where to send your donations:
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kidsattheborder. Open your hearts, and your wallets!
I mean, that's a good cause; but to be honest, just treat this as an encouragement to
donate to any decent charity. Justify our stupid photos somehow. If you don't have
money, give your time. If you don't have time or money, just re-share this preachy
message and nudge others to do so!
Anyhoo, enough of the pesky tin-rattling. Back to the fun. Before my poem, let me
share a nice little linguistics-related webcomic, just published:
https://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/180950464110/. And here's one that came up last
year just after I'd already sent my annual spam: https://xkcd.com/1932/. (This by the
way is included in my running catalogue of linguistics-related XKCD comics!
Ok, it's poem time. Here we go folks, with the first three stanzas...
"Twas the night before Christmas in the ivory tower,
Not a creature was stirring at the midnight hour,
Twas a problem for linguists who live to hear sounds,
Consonants, vowels (open or round).
We linguists were nestled all snug in our beds,
While visions of fricatives danced in our heads.
Snug in our gowns and our four-cornered caps,
We pondered enigmas like bilabial taps.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter.
I sprang from the bed hoping for research matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Hoping my equipment would record and not crash..."
The poem continues here: https://www.academia.edu/9856733/. Enjoy! Feel free to share
the joy far and wide - it's free to redistribute under the Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike licence: https://CreativeCommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/. And
it's printable too - perfect for real world spamming!
For the tweeps among you, please also do what comes naturally:
Dr. Dave Sayers, ORCID no. 0000-0003-1124-7132
Senior Lecturer, Dept Language & Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä,
Finland | www.jyu.fi
Honorary Research Fellow, Cardiff University & WISERD | www.wiserd.ac.uk
Communications Secretary, BAAL Language Policy group | www.langpol.ac.uk
[log in to unmask] | http://jyu.academia.edu/DaveSayers
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