another view of the foro romano. c. 2008.
starting next semester i will be considered a candidate for the Linguistics PhD program. what does that mean? i’ll be spending the next 4-5 years (depending how quickly or slowly i finish my dissertation) observing and analyzing different linguistic phenomena. i’ve already been studying linguistics since 2012, but that was when i was pursuing an MA instead of the PhD. this time, instead of graduating with the MA, i’m hoping to finish and get out with a PhD. i never noticed how much it bothered me that so few people understand what i mean when i say “linguistics”, until now.
small talk seems to always include the question of: so what do you do? what are you studying exactly? and i cannot even tell you how many people give me blank stares when i tell them linguistics. once i explain what it is, even fewer seem interested in what it is. i always explain that linguistics is the study of languages. that we, as linguists, break down languages, examine, and analyze them. i’m almost soon prompted by “soo don’t you have to know a lot of languages? how many do you even know?!?” it’s not about how many languages i know, it’s about what exactly i’m looking at in regards to a language. i don’t have to even know the language! i’ve explained it as code breaking to people, and they still don’t understand sometimes. it’s all too depressing. and for those that don’t find it interesting, that’s fine; that’s your opinion. Just do me a favor and please do not bring me down. if you don’t understand, just ask. i’ll be more than happy to explain to you.
another good one is: “you’re choosing to study linguistics bc it’s easy.” no, it’s actually not easy. it’s very tedious and detail oriented work. so give us a little credit, would you?