My new year’s attic clearance which brought to light some reading matter by Henry Sweet also uncovered a manuscript by myself, dating from the 1983 LSA Linguistic Institute at UCLA. (I worked on that Institute as a UCLA graduate student.) The piece in question appeared in The Linguistic Inquirer, which circulated at the Institute and ran, I believe, to a total of one issue.
I doubt whether my effort, reproduced in full below, still has the pungent relevance of Sweet’s paper from a century earlier. But, like Sweet’s reformed spellings, it might have a measure of historical curio value for some readers. (I was struck to see that three years away from University College London had evidently been enough for me to get one of the cardinal vowels wrong.)
COMPETITION! The first person who can prove they get ALL the jokes will be eligible for a prize goodie bag containing:
• A stationery gift pack (includes one printer daisy wheel, one pack of mimeograph stencils and one phonetic font ball for any IBM Selectric typewriter)
• A selection of recreational coupons good at I & Joy Bagels, May Company or any Disneyland “E” ride
• A party tape (Dolby B, chrome setting) of summer ‘83 hits: David Bowie Let’s Dance, The Police Every Breath You Take, The Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and, representing the USA, Irene Cara Flashdance…What a Feeling
(Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that the competition will be judged, since I don’t get all the jokes any more.)
Click on the images to see the pages full-size.