Retrofuturological Linguistics, Part I—The Future of Linguistics as Seen from the Past—M’Thoozela Oldman and Azhi Dahāka SpecGram Vol CXCIII, No 3 Contents Mix & Match ☞☞—Max & Mitch Ninelette
Psammeticus Press

How to (Not?) Cause Offence with Linguistics
by Prof. [REDACTED], Ph.D., and [REDACTED], Litt.D.
Department of Linguistics and [REDACTED], University of [REDACTED]
Published 2024. 428⅐ pages

While sensitivity to the feelings of others has always been good etiquette, there is a perception in modern society that this has come to take precedence over facts and reason in some circles. As language is so deeply entrenched in people’s sense of identity, and many linguistic terms are likely to be understood differently by the lay audience, there is a particular risk of linguistic statements raising hackles, no matter how well founded.

Now, Prof. [REDACTED], Ph.D., and [REDACTED], Litt.D. both tenured faculty in the Department of Linguistics and [REDACTED], at the University of [REDACTED]—one of the premiere academic and research institutions in the United [REDACTED]—have bravely stepped forth from out of right up to the edge of the shadows to give much needed advice on how to avoid causing offence with common terms, ideas, and facts related to linguistics.

A short excerpt gives a flavor of the wisdom contained within.

To avoid giving needless offence,* linguists are advised to judge the sensibilities of their audience carefully before saying any of the following:

  • Scots is a dialect of English.
  • DRESS raising is a common phenomenon in New Zealand.
  • Turkish Hebrew Arabic Tamil Khoisan Sanskrit Whatever is not the original language of mankind.
  • Canadian English is just British English.
  • Canadian English is just American English.
  • All theories of syntax are equally valid. The interesting part of language is pragmatics.
  • “Recent Advances in Literary Translation” would be the world’s shortest paper.
  • We piped everything through Google Translate and decided it was close enough.**
  • The American spelling of English is the most logical.
  • The British spelling of English is the most logical.***
  • English spelling is logical illogical.

* And to expedite giving deserved offence.

** Offer not valid in China.

*** How come no one makes this claim for Canadian spelling, eh?

Retrofuturological Linguistics, Part IThe Future of Linguistics as Seen from the PastM’Thoozela Oldman and Azhi Dahāka
Mix & Match ☞☞Max & Mitch Ninelette
SpecGram Vol CXCIII, No 3 Contents