New York Times on the PSAT Glitch

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 2 01:43:51 UTC 2003

Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>i've written huge amounts of stuff
>on language for lgb newsgroups, including one where i have
>considerable standing, for more than a decade, as a good guy, known
>personally to many hundreds of the readers - but, still, perfectly
>ordinary claims about language, grammar, dialects, etc. sometimes meet
>with deep hostility on this particular newsgroup.  this happens pretty
>much any time i write, however legitimately, as the voice of

This certainly isn't specific to the lgb newsgroups. Alas. Several
times, against my better judgement, I've tried to inject
well-established research findings into discussions of such matters
as English-only or the Oakland/Ebonics controversy, when the topics
have come up, in, of all places, sports newsgroups.  I encounter the
same hostility that you do, as well as a very strange kind of
condescension. It's a different reaction than the one engendered by
displays of expertise in other fields. For instance, I've posted on
experimental methods for determinining whether listeners really can
distinguish music samples compressed using different algorithms;
people are confused, and may throw up their hands, but there's no
overt hostility.
Alice Faber                                             faber at
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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