“So you’re a linguist. How many languages do you know?” Every linguist hears this question a lot. There’s even a meme about it. And in addition to over-use, there are several contradictory reasons why it’s deeply frustrating.
1. Linguistics isn’t about learning lots of languages. Except when it is.
Linguists as scholars work to analyze language and figure out how it works and why we can speak it. Unfortunately, there’s also another meaning for linguist which is a translator or person who speaks a ton of languages. Academic linguists refer to the latter as polyglots or hyperpolyglots. But, for example, the US military job descriptions use linguist to mean polyglot/translator. It’s a real meaning, but it’s like asking a baseball player if they hit balls using a small winged mammal. Not so much.
Remember the runaway red octopus that hid in our Shale Reef exhibit for a year before getting caught wandering across the Aquarium in the middle of the night? After a brief period behind the scenes, the celebrity cephalopod is now on exhibit in our upstairs Kelp Zone!
Last Friday I was watching Graham Norton and one of his guests, Miriam Margoyles, was commenting on the use of ‘like’ in English and ‘correcting’ Will.i.am and Adam Lambert – it was quite funny because all of them became so hyper-aware of ‘like’ that you could almost see the…
Hierarchy of Book Publishing
The Top 100
1). Brand-name authors (still)
- Stephen King (since 1974)
- John Grisham (1989)
- Patricia Cornwell (1990)
- Jodi Picoult (1992)
- Nicholas Sparks (1996)
- Jennifer Weiner (2001)
2). Self-published authors with proven track…