No clitic allowed

On Facebook yesterday about the on-line word game Spelling Bee:

— Polly Jacobson: on a free version (spellsbee) it wouldn’t accept ‘clitic’. (but oddly accepted ‘clit’)

— John Beavers > PJ:  I am still annoyed about clitic.

— PJ: oh I got ‘clitic’ rejected in a slightly different game. I guess they all have the same word list!

— AZ > PJ: As the author of “On Clitics” [Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club, 1977] and other works on clitology [see my survey paper, “What is a clitic?” (in Nevis, Joseph, Wanner, & Zwicky, Clitics Bibliography, 1995)] (and the proud owner of a Put Your Clitics in Second Position t-shirt), I would like to protest this enormity in the strongest of terms. … I see that my old t-shirt eventually devolved into rags after years of hard use. I have ordered a new, spiffier version, to be unveiled when it arrives in a week or so. Watch this space.

You don’t have to wait. Here’s the design as I created it (from a bewilderingly large menu of choices):

2 Responses to “No clitic allowed”

  1. Ellen Kaisse Says:

    Spelling bee rejects very common linguistic terms while allowing all kinds of abstruse medical terms and the like. They did accept ‘phoneme’ the other day, but ‘lenition’ is out, for instance.

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