Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Tue Mar 6 13:28:51 UTC 2001

--On Tuesday, March 6, 2001 12:11 pm +0100 Paul Frank
<paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:

> Is Paul Dean a pedant? And a mistaken one at that?

Definitely 'yes' to pedant.  People will disagree on the mistakenness, but
I would say 'yes' to that too--on the understanding that you should call
people what they like to be called and most linguists like to be called

> By the way, what do professional linguists (i.e. those trained in
> linguistics) think about the popular use of the word linguist to designate
> someone who knows several languages but does not necessary know anything
> about linguistics? I wouldn't call myself a linguist myself, since I
> wouldn't know a morpheme if it hit me in the face, but other people
> sometimes do call me a linguist for the simple reason that I know a couple
> of languages.

It has that, and other meanings, and I suppose we have to be at peace with
that, but I use 'polyglot' for that meaning.


M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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