Squib (writing)

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A squib is a brief satirical or witty piece of writing or speech, like a lampoon, or a short, sometimes humorous piece in a newspaper or magazine, used as a filler. It can be intended to ignite thinking and discourse by others on topics of theoretical importance—e.g., see MIT Press's journal, Linguistic Inquiry,[1] but is often less substantial than this and just humorous (see The Daily Squib).

One of the most famous squibs in English literature is The Candidate by Thomas Gray.[2][3]

In linguistics, squibs may outline anomalous data but not suggest a solution. This usage in the field was popularized by John R. “Haj” Ross in the 1960s. A squib may also develop a minor theoretical argument. A particularly interesting variety of squibs are the so-called snippets, which are "the ideal footnote: a side remark that taken on its own is not worth lengthy development but that needs to be said".[4] The online journal Snippets is dedicated to this type of squib.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The MIT Press". MIT Press. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  2. ^ Toynbee, Paget, ed. (1915). "The Candidate". The correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734–1771). vol. 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 226–228.
  3. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Squib" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ a b "Led on Line - Snippets". www.ledonline.it. Retrieved 10 August 2017.