I've known for as long as I can remember that I wanted to learn everything that could be learned about language. I'm making some solid progress so I thought I'd pass it along in case there are any linguists who are driven to find out why it sounds weird when you say "funner."
My goal is to encourage people to think of linguistics differently. It's not just charts with funny-looking letters and statistics - I mean, that's exactly what it is, but leave that stuff to me. I'll translate it into something that isn't boring gibberish.
Here are some ways in which I am nerdy and reliable when it comes to linguistics:
- My degree is in psycholinguistics and cognitive neuroscience.
- I made my own major in college and published a sociolinguistic study about dialects and prejudice.
- I've studied 5 languages besides English: Spanish, Italian, Latin, Attic Greek, and German.
- For the past 8 years, I've worked in schools with kids from infancy to high school, including 2 years in special education. I currently work at a residential program for kids with learning disabilities.
- Most importantly: I just really love linguistics. People sometimes look down on what they call "armchair experts," and maybe with good cause, but not when it comes to linguistics. Everyone reading this is already an expert at understanding and creating language - why shouldn't your observations, experiences, and opinions matter? Maybe don't publish the results as an objective study, but by all means, share them with me and everyone else because language is one of the few things that every person on earth has the right to use and read and listen to and love and hate and all the other things we do with language. And don't give me that "what about people who can't speak or read" because hold on tight, I'm going to show you why that isn't the only way language works.