absolutely trivial: linguistic songs

David Bergdahl einstein at FROGNET.NET
Mon Aug 14 15:44:00 UTC 2000

On Saussure, you have to remember that Post-structuralism might just as
well be called "Saussure Misunderstood"--he's right up there with
Darwin, Einstein, & Heisenberg for supplying a popular concept, in this
case Derrida's innovative idea that there's an infinite series of signs
(by which he *doesn't* mean Saussure's fusion of a sound pattern with a
concept but more like the popular meaning of "word") referring to one
another and which are never "grounded" in Reality (completely ignoring
Saussure's insistence on the social nature of language, which serves as
a corrective to the individualistic conception that is so popular).
What the song apparently has to do with Saussure is explicit in the
chorus: we don't know anything.

Lynne, talk to the people in Theory--you'll hear some fabulous
misunderstandings of linguistics.  (Marx is similarly distorted to
justify our continuing as "culture workers"--but that's another tale...)

-- db
David Bergdahl                 einstein at frognet.net     tel: (740)
home page: http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~bergdahl    fax: (740) 593-3857

More information about the Ads-l mailing list