If you, like me, day-dreamed your way through High School English, then you’ll probably find the ‘Language Log’ website more than a little intimidating.
I hope you do.
I hope you do, because I don’t want to be alone in not understanding the difference between a fricative and an unvoiced-consonant.
Life is lonely enough.
Life is lonely enough without the realisation that those people who focused during English class – the nerds – have now gathered together. They have formed a ‘Word Nerd’ collective and they are laughing at people like me. They are laughing at me because I thought I knew about language until I visited their website.
Those word nerds were sitting in the dark, trying to stifle a giggle. They flicked on the light and started laughing and pointing as soon as I typed the URL for their website (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/) into my browser.
I froze like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. I tried to back away slowly, but it was too late: they sensed my weakness, my lack of linguistic knowledge, and they pounced.
Well, they didn’t actually pounce. We’re talking about me visiting a website here. But I was intimidated, and I think they knew it.
They may not have.