New York Times on the PSAT Glitch

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 2 17:47:59 UTC 2003

At 12:03 PM -0400 6/2/03, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>At 10:56 AM 6/2/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>>On Sun, 1 Jun 2003, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>#a sad side fact in all of this is that linguists are widely regarded
>>#in the media (and by more intellectual publications like the American
>>#Scholar, Harper's, etc.) as being partisan, even fanatic.  the problem
>>#is that we claim to know some truths about language, and trumpet them,
>>#even when common sense, not to mention the publications of talented
>>#amateurs, tells educated people that we are just wrong.
>>Is it, perhaps, also partially due to Chomsky's status as both
>>  (1) the only linguist most people have ever heard of and
>>  (2) a "partisan, even fanatic"  advocate of certain political views?
>>-- Mark A. Mandel
>Only in part, I think (although I did hear him called a "crackpot" by an
>interviewee in a followup segment on C-Span 2 yesterday).
>If, in answering a query about language, we called ourselves "English
>teachers," we'd get immediate respect--due to the odd reverence (combined
>with hatred) of p.s. English teachers.  And then throw in a Latin case
>paradigm or two, and you're elevated even higher.  "Linguists" are regarded
>as dabblers in other languages (and maybe as suspect multiculturalists), I
>fear--so what do we know about English?

What if we styled ourselves as grammarians?


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