Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 3 Contents Parade of the Alphabets—Trey Jones

/nuz baɪts/

Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers.

Economists Rebuked for Doing Linguistics Even More Poorly Than Linguists

In June a pair of economists released a study showing that women in societies that speak a gendered language tend to work less and take on more traditional gender roles. Since that time they have discovered other surprising links between noun classes and economics. In Germany, girls have lower rates of participation in the workforce than women, leading researchers to conclude that “neuter” is even farther down the gender hierarchy than “feminine”. And in languages that make an animacy distinction, people earn more than squirrels.*

Not everyone is excited by these discoveries. “I’m tired of seeing papers by economists who think they can just dig through WALS looking for spurious correlations,” said sociolinguist P. H. Ackerman. “That’s my job!” In response, Ackerman and his colleagues are applying similar methods to generate economics papers. They plan to submit their manuscripts to a non-satirical economics journal, should one ever be published.

* Perhaps because squirrels are happy to work for peanuts.

Letters to the Editor
Parade of the AlphabetsTrey Jones
SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 3 Contents