Unintentionally, I have come upon evidence suggesting that linguistics is, perhaps, the ultimate field of study. By this I mean that there is a universal trend for highly motivated, hard working people, who tire easily of lesser subjects, to progress along a hierarchy of disciplines, culminating with linguistics. The evidence consists of a number of case studies, presented below. The names have been changed to protect the identity of these academics, many of who may want to hide their past intellectual follies.
Now we can construct the hierarchy presented in Figure 1, below:
Truly motivated students may find themselves located at the lower end of this spectrum and unhappily so, struggling to find their way to the next level. Much remains to be discovered, as there are many unanswered questions: What is the relative ordering of English/Literature and Psychology in the hierarchy? Why do some people make such huge leaps while others make smaller steps? Are there other parallel hierarchies? If so, are they, ultimately, connected to this one, or are they independent, giving rise to a collection of "ultimate" fields?
I. M. Shirley Wright
Dept of Linguistic Meta-Sociology
Dept of Sociological Meta-Linguistics
The Universal University of the Universe