Popular Linguistics

A new, monthly online magazine has been launched. Here is what editor D. S. Bigham has to say about his new venture, Popular Linguistics:

Over the last few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about the public perception of linguistics and language research. I’ve often been frustrated at the abuse and misunderstanding of basic linguistic concepts in the popular media (for example, this summer’s debacle over President Obama’s speech-style reported on “The Global Language Monitor"), or even at the lack of widespread response from linguists on public policy issues, such as the Arizona immigration law or, reaching back, the Ebonics school funding debates. Why isn’t the public better educated about linguistics? I fear that it’s because we, as linguists, haven’t done the best job of getting the word out. We haven’t yet provided the public with a single non-specialist standard for linguistics-based reporting.

Oh, there are exceptions, certainly. Blogs like Language Log and Language Hat, Ben Zimmer’s ”On Language” column for the New York Times, and occasional pieces here and there in this magazine or that newspaper. But a single trusted source, a regular, dedicated place where people can go and read about all aspects of our research, with articles written by true experts of the field… that’s what linguistics has been lacking.

I agree it is badly needed. While one can find sound discussion and information on linguistic topics on the web, there is no single source for popularly oriented linguistic info that spans the discipline.

[Hat tip: Language Hat]

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