SALT 22, G8: Chicago not big enough for both

Reporting by Jason Merchant, Special Correspondent

CHICAGO, Illinois —  Pres. Obama today announced that he was moving the G8 summit meeting to a more “intimate” setting in order to avoid conflict with the high-profile Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) meeting also scheduled to take place May 18-20 in Chicago. “Given the attention that SALT always gets,” said Pres. Obama in a statement released on Monday, “the G8 leaders realized that the media’s attention would be–understandably–elsewhere, and chose not to try to compete with the airtime that will be devoted to the latest discoveries being reported on in natural language semantics at the University of Chicago during those days.”

G8 leaders were relieved to learn that their staffs would not have to compete for accommodations with the tens of thousands of attendees and fans that typically mark SALT meetings. In addition to linguists, large groups of participants from neighboring fields such as philosophy, psychology, and computer science are expected to descend on Chicago for SALT. “We wish the G8 summit all the best in their new venue,” said Chris Kennedy, a lead organizer for SALT this year. Co-organizer Anastasia Giannakidou added, “SALT is shaping up to be the major event it always is, and it was simply unfortunate that the G8 planners hadn’t realized earlier that the world’s focus would be on semantics those days.”

A White House spokesperson confirmed that Obama had suggested moving the date of the G8 summit instead of its location in his hometown of Chicago, but that the date he suggested, April 19-21, was roundly rejected by the G8 leaders, as many of them already have plans to attend CLS that weekend.

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