Graham Meyer is a writer, editor, composer, and crossword puzzle constructor based in Chicago. He reviews restaurants for Crain’s Chicago Business and covers classical and new music for Chicago magazine. His music has been performed by Musae and the Princeton Katzenjammers. His puzzles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Sun.


Eely but pragmatist, language accomplishes its ends but resists revealing its inner life. The purpose of language is communication, and so when its business is done, most messages evanesce without a second thought, their interlocutors heedless of the theoretical matrices they’re supporting or opposing. Language is a tool, a medium, a vehicle. The successful use of language results in the successful transmission of a message.

No—that’s too pragmatic a …

An essay on linguistics for Bulletins of the Serving Library, a journal of culture and ideas descended from Dot Dot Dot. In the essay, I examine sentences from linguistics education and from puzzles and games to poke holes in their objectives, in order to show that language is a good hole-poker.