As I was perusing my signed 1355 first edition copy of Jötunn Svartálfar’s Teach Yourself Gothic in Six Score Minutes per Fortnight, I was struck by the stark disparity between my personal and professional collections of books, as compared to the utter disregard for the written word displayed by the general American populace. Old books and odd books, musty treatises and crumbling tomes, flights of fancy and important, eternal ideas fill the bookshelves of my library and inhabit the chambers of my mind. In contrast, the average person
As a linguist (both academician and polyglot), I value the unexpected find in a second-
I believe that linguistics has afforded me, more than any other intellectual endeavor, this broadness of mind and the concomitant delicate and discerning cognitive palate. Linguistics sensitizes one to language and to Language, one’s own as well as that of others. It encourages an appreciation of languages that leads to a love of literatures that are not native to one’s mother tongue. I adore these books precisely because they are the outward manifestation of the inward transmogrification linguistics has wrought on my soul.
No, wait, I was thinking of philology. Never mind.
With that, I offer hearty congratulations to the Chiasmus of the Month Award winner for February 2010!