I can claim no special expertise other than the general competency of a fluent speaker and reader. I am, however, a lover of all things related to linguistics, language use, and translation, particularly regarding the histories and underlying structures of French and English (my mother tongue). To say that I am an “armchair linguist” is a partial-truth because I am, sometimes, in the middle of applied linguistics as an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor. This qualification notwithstanding, I think the designation “armchair linguist” is appropriate. I do, after all, most commonly read while in my favorite arm chair, at my favorite window, in view of all of my favorite books.
Which reminds me that I should note that I am also a book-lover: books-as-books, that is, and not the fraudulent “e-” variety. (One may object to a hint of hypocrisy here given the medium of this site. Think no such thing! Websites are “e-” by definition and books, by definition, should be primarily physical. Electronic copies of books are rightly called “copies.” It’s all about appropriateness of context). And if I can say that I love books-as-books in general, I love them infinitely more so when they are hard-backed, well-constructed, and placed within a slipcase. It is not possible to overly revere this important art form. The smell of thick, acid free paper and sweet, quality ink…ahh. These, my friends, are signs that the Earth is truly paradise.
Here you will find my thoughts, musings, book reviews, and maybe even the occasional essay or two on the English language – perhaps more rarely, the French language. The page entitled Definitions and Representations is where I explore, and sometimes parody, the difference between words “as defined” and words “as used” by speakers.
Welcome to my journey through language. I hope you enjoy it and I encourage your feedback.
Thank you for reading.
Jay P Laughlin