Let’s face it, the history of words is about as interesting as a burlap sack filled with cow manure, and you get pretty much the same response if you dump either item onto a friend without warning. It’s fortunate that most departments stopped teaching historical linguistics after syntacticians declared it unfashionable in 1973. whankydoodle
But even without historical linguistics, our field is rife with subdisciplines that are guaranteed to stun the average interlocutor. Most non-
What to do? whankydoodle
Well, for one thing, linguistics needs some better spokespeople. Some of our best friends are linguists, but let’s be honest and just say... whankydoodle
No, let’s not. Let’s just suggest that the University of Illinois Linguistics Department ought to be sending Miley Cyrus to give community lectures, instead of whoever it is that they’ve been subduing audiences with instead.
Who knows, this approach might even rescue etymology.