As a Linguist, thou art an ambassador for the scientific study of Language and languages in the land of the monolingual naive speaker. Even though the monolingual naive speaker roll their eyes at thee and chastise thee as a word-
1 At least not until thou hast tenure of thine own.
2 Revealest thou not, for example, that Kabardian does indeed have a vowel system. Hypothesizest thou not that Dyirbal, Hixkaryana, and Pirahã do not actually exist but were invented by linguists. Writest thou not a monograph, essay, or even the smallest of paragraphs which could be easily understood by the monolingual naive speaker. And never, until the end of days, shalt thou question the scientific nature of linguistics whilst in the presence of an actual scientist.
3 Lacest thou not thine examples with data from languages unbeknownst to all save SIL fieldworkers. Obscurest thou not thy data by retranscribing it such that no linguist may check it. Usest thou only the IPA chart and its articulatory descriptions as thy pronunciation guide, no matter what language thou speakest.
4 Usest thou the Oxford Comma, for though it is oft times redundant, it does on occasion reduce ambiguity. Putest thou not thy punctuation inside thy quotation marks when it is not part of thy quoted material, no matter how thine editor doth protest.
5 Fudgest thou not thy data. Unless thy data conflict with Mine own theory. In that case, thy data likely needs “reinterpretation”.
6 Thou shalt not beat or whip thy graduate students, nor force them to maintain thy database, nor trot out the best ideas of thy graduate students as thine own.
7 Except in thy footnotes, for the lesser linguists tend not to read these so carefully.
8 For they are but babes in the wood of language and easily put off by thy analytical probing.
9 Though they do deserve a most mighty smiting.
10 But if thou hast and it is pointed out to thee that thou hast so done, thou shalt not be angered by it. Rather, laughest thou at thyself, and make merry.
|More Murphy’s Laws for Linguists—Trey Jones & Bill Spruiell|
|New Advances in Morpheme Detoxification—D.O.G.M.A.|
|Collateral Descendant of Lingua Pranca Contents|