Literature Vs Linguistics

Students have the most bizarre fear of literature.

A student is choosing her Senior project topic.

“I don’t want to do anything related to literature,” she says aggressively. “I’m interested in linguistics.”

“That’s fine,” I say. “Which linguistic phenomenon would you like to study?”

“I’m interested in analyzing how the patriarchy silences women in the novels by Luisa Valenzuela.”

“That’s a  great topic,” I say. “But what makes you think it belongs to the field of linguistics?”

“Because the patriarchy silences them, so they can’t express themselves. That’s language, so it’s linguistics,” the student explains.

Sometimes it feels like they are willing to do any kind of analysis as long as they manage to convince themselves it doesn’t have to do with literature.

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19 comments on “Literature Vs Linguistics

    • Sheesh, what a stupid article. Universities are stupid because they are not religious? Who is this brainless freakazoid?

      I find the thought that the dead don’t suffer to be very consoling. A lot more consoling than the idiotic idea that the dead are looking at us from heaven. And I’m a religious person.

      • I can see the “looking on” thing, but the whole “your child still lives and you’ll be reunited” thing is twisted from my perspective. It’s like telling someone they need to live to die, rather than continue to live life. And “intellectually honest” my foot. An opinion isn’t a fact. It’s not really something with which you can demonstrate intellectual honesty.

      • “I can see the “looking on” thing, but the whole “your child still lives and you’ll be reunited” thing is twisted from my perspective. It’s like telling someone they need to live to die, rather than continue to live life. And “intellectually honest” my foot. An opinion isn’t a fact. It’s not really something with which you can demonstrate intellectual honesty.”

        – I agree completely. The article is very obnoxious.

      • This “brainless freakazoid” is Dennis Prager. This column is pretty much par for the course for him, and quite typical of the drivel at WingNutDaily and Clownhall. Prager’s the same guy (according to WP) who freaked out about Keith Ellison being sworn into Congress on the Quran and who, in late 2008, wrote a two-part column that falls for every stereotype and myth about human sexuality and that reads a lot like an apologia for marital rape.

  1. Gotta be unpopular here. Her basic thesis (patriarchy ‘silences’ women so ‘ they can’t express themselves’) is something I might find bearable in a very enthusiastic but unworldly first year student but pretty banal and unremarkable for a student ready to graduate (unless you are greatly simplifying what she said for popular consumption/confidentiality reasons and/or she’s a mercy pass).

  2. Aaron Clarey is a big Dennis Prager fan and I agree that article was pretty poorly written and unprofessional on Mr. Prager’s part. I’ve listened to his show a couple of times and liked the way he expressed his ideas and took callers without yelling over them and being respectful when they had a different opinion to offer.

    WND is a conservative website by the way. This doesn’t look too good on their part. Hence why I’ve stopped relying on super partisan websites for news and have learned to think for myself. Not rely on pundits so much to tell me how to think.

    • I never heard about this guy before, so I don;t know what else he has written. The article itself is weird and doesn’t sound very emotionally stable. I agree with you in that no single source of information can be enough for a thinking person. I believe it is one’s intellectual responsibility to fashion one’s own approach to politics and life in general. And that can only be done through a multitude of sources. The reason why I left my labor union years ago is precisely that everybody’s willingness to agree with “the party line” on everything 100% scared me.

      • The main reason I know about Prager is because he’s really good friends with Adam Carolla, whose podcast I listen to once in a while. They even did a tour together recently I believe. I really enjoyed a lot of the Prager University videos on YouTube, especially the ones regarding economics.

        Anyways, I don’t expect to agree with any media person 100%, but I try to understand exactly where they’re coming from. In Prager’s case, he openly identifies himself as a religious Orthodox Jewish man, but yet doesn’t mind when an atheist calls his show at all and will let them share their opinion without getting reprimanded or yelled at.

    • “WND is a conservative website by the way. This doesn’t look too good on their part. ”

      What does? WND is run by kooks who make Fox News look like n+1. I think most of their operating budget goes into ‘investigate reports’ that prove, beyond all doubt, that Obama is a radical Kenyan Muslim. Says a lot about you that you read Dennis Prager and WND and listen to Carrola.

      • I don’t even read WND, sir. I just looked up the website to see what their modus operandi was. I listen and read BOTH left wing and right wing sources and come up with my own opinions that don’t come from the Rupert Murdoch smear machine or any of the pathetic “journalism” coming from CNN or MSNBC. You automatically assumed I was some wingnut when that’s far from the case. I even watch The Young Turks every so often. What else do you need to know other than some false assumption you made about me because I like listening to what both sides have to say?

        The sites I check most often are pretty much Reuters, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and alternative news sources like RT and Reason.com and the many, many blogs I read that vary in ideological viewpoints. Nice try. I like Adam Carolla as a comedian just like I love Marc Maron as a comedian, despite their political views. Same with other comics like Bill Burr, Jim Norton and guys like Anthony Cumia.

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