Mmmm, linguist humor.

March 23, 2004

The Top Ten Reasons Why Linguists Are a Pain to Play Scrabble With:

  • They think of their own native speaker intuitions as a higher authority than the dictionary.

  • They argue about whether they should be spelling phonological words, or syntactic words.
  • They know that anyone can coin a word, and so they do.
  • They try to claim a separate score for every reading of an ambiguous word.
  • They try to claim credit for spelling CV-skeleta.
  • They think it is OK to play proper names, since there is a productive zero-derivation converting them to common nouns. (Semantics: lambda-x[x=alpha], for proper name alpha.)
  • They use boustrophedon writing to cover the scoring squares.
  • They won’t let you count the extrametrical part of a word.
  • They keep trying to spell empty categories.
  • “Move alpha” makes it too easy to get to a triple word square.
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