Robert Hartwell Fiske Vocabula at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 17 23:10:07 UTC 2003

In a message dated 6/17/2003 4:50:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
pulliam at IIT.EDU writes:

> I also think that many people feel very threatened by language change
> and variation.  You can see this in the TVR's motto, which appears to
> be based on a real, if unfounded and therefore illogical, fear that
> the language changes taking place around us are some sort of vanguard
> of social and cultural change--for the worse.

I am not the least fearful of language change though I am fearful of
ignorance, and only the honest among you will concur that much language change is due
to exactly that.

I imagine, though, that the principal reason for the vituperative (and ad
hominem) attacks against me is that people who have spent their lives studying
linguistics are infuriated when someone dares say, in effect, that how they see
things is largely nonsense. No one likes to be told, even implicitly, that
they have wasted their lives.

By the way, Halpern and I have agreed that his July response to Trudgill's
June Vocabula article will be made freely available to ADS members. Do stay

Robert Hartwell Fiske
Editor and Publisher
The Vocabula Review

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