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).

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".[2] The online journal Snippets is dedicated to this type of squib.[3]