During class today, I had one of those reflective moments, when you totally immerse yourself in the geeky goodness of german and english verb and noun phrases and you suddenly think of how people react when you're at a party and that "so-what-do-you-do"-conversation comes up.
I hate that conversation.
Everytime I mention my studies and what I'm interested in, people react more or less the same: They lecture me with pop sciencey bullshit about my own field. Thanks mate, I really, really didn't know that "Eskimos" had 3457364 words for snow, really. I seriously wonder why that issue has never come up during my classes on canoncial directionality, I really admire your knowledge of our obviously shared field.
I really didn't mean to be condescending there, okay, perhaps just a little, but come on, assume I meet a mathematician, the first thing I'm gonna say is not "Oh, did you know that Pi equals 3 LOL". The first thing I'm gonna say will be something along the lines of OH MAH GAWD I'M NOT WORTHY because still today, I'm probably the single worst math-person. Long story short, you wouldn't just walk up to anyone who studies any science and just assume that anything you believe you know about their field could possibly be something they haven't heard of yet. Unless they really, REALLY suck at what they do.
Back to the point, I've always wondered why people seem so inclined to think they actually know stuff about proper linguistics. Is it because every philologist has had at least one or two classes on their respective language-specific linguistics and I hang out with too many of those people? Or is it
just a conversation starter and I'm too easily pissed off because people handle language literally all the time and thus think that automatically makes them experts? Anyway, what I'm getting at here is, next time you meet a linguist, don't fucking annoy him, okay? We're people too. Geeky people, most of the time, but still people.
INSERT CONDESCENDING WONKA IMAGE HERE
(oh pls tell me more about how Eskimos have 3457364 words for snow)
cheers, take care.