About Me

Thin white guy with dirty blond hair and glasses and scruff

I’m a linguistics graduate from The Ohio State University.

I’m interested in the unity of linguistics as a field and the quality of its scientific practice. I’m looking for what we can offer society. When I find it, I wanna package it up. Then I wanna write the world’s first well-written owner’s manual, add that to the box, and make sure I ship it to the right address.

I want to be a  language attitude remodeller.

So I’m interested in what language means for people. This is important. Why and how would you learn a language after the native one you’re shipped with a voucher for? How does language constantly change and evolve? What is the scope of language across the globe? What does that say about the human brain and mind?

I hate what English has done to linguistics. We need to deanglicize our field if we don’t wanna be laughed off the stage. As a result typology, terminology, metapractice—these are things that keep me up at night.

If we’re talking what parts of linguistics I like, I’ll try to explain… I love the variety and diversity in phonetics, and the joy of being able to say, “No, those two sounds really are different”. Phonology class was fun. Thanks to my program, I feel like morphology is incidental and sketchy. Syntax and semantics are ultimately inseparable and they really are my favorite. The subtle differences in synonyms, especially across languages, and words that are notoriously frustrating to translate—that’s what made me fall in love with linguistics. Then, as I’ve said, applying all this for people—especially in combating monolingualism—is the end goal.

A couple notes…

  • Contrary to popular belief, I only sorta speak one foreign language, German. That’s it. I have some dried out Latin-American-ish Spanish from high school, I’ve dabbled in Japanese and Mandarin, I’ve taken a little French, I’ve been exposed to Koine Greek and Ancient Hebrew through biblical study, and I incidentally can pick out things in writing from the other Germanic and Romance languages. As a result of examples of linguistic concepts from around the world being thrown at my fly paper memory, note that I will happen to know random words from random languages—but that’s all I know of them, I can’t speak them.
  • It’s on my bucket list to have at least survival literacy in every currently used script in the world.
  • I’m a descriptivist so I use “non-standard” writing like gonna. I do not do this on class papers. I also will use British punctuation rules when they make more sense, like quotations inside sentence-final periods; this is a result of reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

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