The History of the Indo-Europeans—An Agony in Six Fits—Tim Pulju SpecGram Vol CLXXIV, No 4 Contents Trickle Down Linguonomics III—K͡Parul K͡Brugmann
Psammeticus Press

Recruiting Linguistics Students: A Guide for Depart­ments and Deans
by Deepat Mintshair
Published 2015. 36 pages + 656 pages of appendices

This invaluable departmental self-help book, Recruiting Linguistics Students, fills a sizable gap in the literature: giving practical advice to linguistics departments about how to attract more students.

As all humanities departments have discovered, being smart and studying interesting things just doesn’t cut it with university administrators any more. Now, a department has to justify its existence, primarily by attracting large numbers of students to its courses, and preferably by actually producing a sizable population of graduates from its degree programs.

Linguists, of course, are horrible recruiters, and no small number of our fellow departments have been threatened with complete closure.

Fortunately, Mintshair has come to the rescue with Recruiting Linguistics Students.

The key to survival for Linguistics, Recruiting tells us, is not to advertise Linguistics per se, as it is too vast a field for prospective students to grasp in the abstract. Rather, Recruiting recommends that individual subfields be advertised separately, not only via social media but also through more traditional methods such as keg parties and sponsored tailgating.

The book pursues this theme by devoting a single chapter to each linguistic subdiscipline. Each chapter title is Mintshair’s recommendation for an ad campaign slogan, with the rest of the chapter explicating how this central message can most effectively move through all the necessary stages, from propaganda to diplomas.

We may best introduce the book, then, simply by listing a representative sample of the individual chapter titles.

  • Do you prefer statistics to people? Become a Computational Linguist.

  • Become a Theoretical Linguist, because philosophy isn’t hiring right now.

  • Socio­linguistics is the only academic field where you can be paid to spend your entire career in a bar listening to other people talk.

  • Ever felt like completely giving up on life? Join Optimality Theory today and be the atheoretical framework you always wanted to be.

  • Been denied that job as a civil servant you wanted? No problem, because Government Phonology is looking to hire you!

  • Worried that any effect you have on society might create harmful unintended consequences (or karma)? Become a Formal Syntactician!

  • Join Neuro­linguistics and understand what the voices in your head are saying.

  • Corpus Linguistics: We are 95% confident we know where all the bodies are buried.

  • In Conference Interpreting, no one can hear you scream, unless they turn their headsets on.

  • Historical Linguistics: When arguing about Velikovsky and Von Däniken just doesn’t have enough ethnic flavor any more.

  • Child Language Acquisition: For those who like experimenting on other people’s children.

  • Crypto­linguistics: No one knows what we are talking about and that means we’re doing it right!

  • Translation Studies: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; those who can’t teach, write long articles on why everyone else’s way of doing it is not philosophically sound.

  • Substance abuse is a major problem affecting thousands of languages and millions of speakers across the globe. We need your help to combat the phonological cartels and make this world a safer, substance-free world for all again. Para-documentary Linguistics needs you!

  • Become an academic Phonetician and be licensed to babble.

  • Physics envy? No good at the hard sciences? Got rejected by phonetics? Join Laboratory Phonology today.

  • Sign Language Linguistics: Where handwaving is not only approved, it’s required.

  • Do you want to put words and various implements into other people’s mouths professionally and have your parents think your day job is respectable? Become an Experimental Phonetician today.

  • In Orthographic Studies, you not only write your findings up, you can write them down, right, left, diagonally, or in circles!

  • Satirical Linguistics: Every bit as exciting and world-changing as it sounds.

The final chapter might seem a bit out of character with the rest of the book, but it (somewhat cheekily) addresses the prospective job market for linguists. It is entitled:

  • The Pathetic Fallacy: You’re wrong and you’re pathetic.

The History of the Indo-EuropeansAn Agony in Six FitsTim Pulju
Trickle Down Linguonomics IIIK͡Parul K͡Brugmann
SpecGram Vol CLXXIV, No 4 Contents