Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bad Linguistics

Phil Plait at the Bad Astronomy blog engages in some bad linguistics.

But I bring this up, because the narrator, who was also the host, kept saying "nuke you lur".

The first time I heard it, I thought I was mistaken. By the fifth time, I realized it was the producers who were mistaken. They let a guy narrate a documentary who couldn’t pronounce a word? And not just any word, but the word, the one the whole show was about?

C'mon, we all know that characterizing "nuke you lur" as a "mispronunciation" is wrong. Doesn't anyone listen to NPR anymore?

Even more dispiriting is the long list of language pet peeves this post triggers in the comments.


boredoom said...

But is Plait really engaging in linguistics here? Seems to me he's probably doing what he feels to be language care. And if he characterizes "nucular" as a mispronunciation, shouldn't you as a linguist just sit back and make a note of his reaction?

liberal elite said...

He's practicing linguistics in the same sense that the people who deny the moonlanding that he rightly takes to task are practicing astronomy.

There are some linguists who study folk theories of language. I'm not one of them. I'd rather tell people they're idiots for not understanding language.

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