Medium versus message?

Subject: Medium versus message?
From: Wolf Lahti <wduby -at- PACCAR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 07:50:22 -0700

Chomskying at the bit, Lisa Higgins said

>The "Language-is-what-is-spoken School" is called linguistics. I
>challenge you to find me a real scholar in the field who will say

Um.. Where do you think *I* said otherwise?

>The only way you would end every sentence in 'the' without realizing
>that it was ungrammatical were if you had a brain injury.

Ah--but you said that if people understand what I mean, my language *is*
grammatically correct. *That* is the point I was refuting. As Mark L.
Levinson said, more succinctly and poignantly, "You couldn't of actually
mean that." :) Your comment was a springboard to a topic discussion, not to
a personal attack, as you seem to have inferred.

>I'd like to suggest that before you go on about linguistics any further,
>you pick up an elementary book on the subject and read it.
>An understanding of basic linguistics can go a long way toward improving
>your skills as a communicator.

Touchy touchy! I guess anyone without a PhD in linguistics is not worth
listening to and couldn't possibly have anything to contribute to a
discussion of the use of language. And I have to agree--my understanding of
linguistics has not been classified as "basic". :)

Incidentally, the quote from Frank Herbert [not Herbet--sorry] was not "an
appeal to authority" but rather a revelatory notion. I'm sorry if you feel
that the fact that I read _Dune_ disqualifies me from possessing any skills
as a communicator.

"I hate quotations!" If I told you that my opinions
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson represented my employer, would
you believe me?
Wolf Lahti wduby -at- paccar -dot- com wolf-lahti -at- usa -dot- net
Anacortes, Washington

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