No subject

Peter Trudgill peter.trudgill at UNIFR.CH
Tue Jun 17 17:20:08 UTC 2003

Until Robert Fiske courteously invited me to respond to Halpern's
piece about my writing last week, I must admit that I had never heard
of Vocabula. Since the ADS list has now come round to talking about
politeness and ad hominem insults, other people who are also
unfamiliar with this on-line journal might be interested to note the
tone of the blurb for Halpern's regular column. It runs::

"The Critical Reader" is devoted to analyzing recently published
writings that are egregiously illogical, illiterate, or otherwise in
need of skewering. The emphasis in these analyses will be on misuse
of language, in particular tendentious diction or other corruptions
of English. I will be particularly concerned to point out any
political motivation behind such corruption, and the effect such
corruption has even on those not sharing that motivation."

Perhaps writers who can take obvious pleasure in "skewering" serious
and honest attempts, as Bauer and Trudgill's Language Myths was, to
bring scientific knowledge to the attention of the general public,
and in suggesting that they are illiterate and egregiously illogical,
must, I would suggest, expect equally vigorous and not necessarily
very polite language in response.
Prof. Peter Trudgill
Chair of English Linguistics
University of Fribourg
1700 Fribourg

Tel.:   +41-26-300 7907

Fax:    +41-26-300 9787
Sec'y:  +41-26-300 7902
Assts.: +41-26-300 7905/7909

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