No subject

Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D. bralich at HAWAII.EDU
Wed Apr 30 07:41:06 UTC 1997

At 07:35 PM 4/29/97 -1000, John Myhill wrote:

>The function of Goldstein was to unite people under a totalitarian regime
>by giving them something external to hate which took their minds off of
>the system they themselves were living under. Goldstein was himself ultimately
>an agent of Big Brother, an indispensible part of the system. The relevance of
>my analogy to the situation on funknet is that it is depressing to me to see
>people who are supposed to be interested in talking about language evidently
>only being really moved by the active presence of 'the enemy'--what would
>if there were no formal linguists to argue with? Would functional linguists
>have nothing left to do or talk about? I hope that isn't the case, I want
>to believe that isn't the case, but the interactions on funknet in the last
>few months give me cause for concern.

It's nice to see a discussion of what could be one of the more fundamental
in this field--the need for an enemy.  Frankly, I often think it is not
alone, nor academics alone, but rather it is the American love affair with anger
that makes it impossible for people to get down to business whether it be on
net or anywhere else.  It seems in  linguistics and academia as well as in the
news and in politics no one could find a happier place to be than caught in
a fit
of self-righteous indigation at the miserable understanding and trouble
making of someone else. All the better if you can say things in a way that
would gather group anger and focus it on an offending individual or group.

Congratulations to John Myhill for bringing up a side issue that might
clarify many others.

Phil Bralich

Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Ergo Linguistic Technologies
2800 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 175
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808)539-3920
Fax: (808)5393924

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