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When I grow up, I want to be a linguist. - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Oct. 28th, 2003

12:16 am - When I grow up, I want to be a linguist.

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From:kateorama
Date:October 27th, 2003 10:59 pm (UTC)

yum, linguistics

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(at last, an opportunity to say something to you without bitching about activists).

I love linguistics, did a psycholinguistics undergrad thesis about conversational style differences between men and women (the mightily unwieldy title: Effects of Gender and Expertise on the Development of Mutual Understanding in Conversation).

You might be interested in "Women, Fire and Dangerous Things," which is one of George Lakoff's books about how the relationship between the structure of language and the structure of thought, and how philosophers and psychologists have probably been "getting it wrong" for a really long time. I'm about 1/3 of the way through it, it's dense reading and I"m not usually much on "non-fiction for fun" but it is pretty fun regardless.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:October 27th, 2003 11:13 pm (UTC)

Re: yum, linguistics

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Yah, I've bought that book for other people but haven't gotten arond to getting it for myself yet. :)

One of the (handful of) things I miss about the evil and wrong and broken and hellish relationship that I was in during college is that we were both studying linguistics and we could talk endlessly about it. Now not only am I not studying it anymore but I also don't know any locals who like to talk about it at great length (Arun and I used to talk about it a lot and sometimes we still do and we end up just going into a geek zone that alienates everyone around us and then we stop). This is why I need to go back to grad school and study something (anything!) cognitive.

I'd love to read your undergrad thesis. Do you have it still?

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From:zarfmouse
Date:October 27th, 2003 11:14 pm (UTC)

Re: yum, linguistics

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and by "go back to grad school" I mean "go back to school" or "go to grad school". :)
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From:kateorama
Date:October 28th, 2003 10:10 pm (UTC)

why yes, of course, flatter me some more.

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Sure, I've still got it, probably in my office upstairs, and even on a shelf -- they bind them (hardcover) at my alma mater, so it's quite the ego food to have it up there. And I'd be happy to share, as long as you will accept the caveats -- I was 22 when I wrote it, I was drinking a lot of alcohol and a lot of caffeine and not sleeping much. It has been retyped and proofread since that time, but I left the awkwardnesses and the dumbnesses and whatever else. That being said, I still think it's pretty interesting and cool. Oh, and the other thing is, I did a lab experiment, so it's not exactly about "real life," but I tried to make it relevant.

So yeah, sure.

As for geeking out about linguistics, well, I probably didn't take enough classes to be up to your speed (or they were too long ago) but feel free to try me sometime.

And yes to biking... maybe mid-day Friday, or on Monday sometime? I'm gone Friday afternoon to Sunday night, and then next week Thursday night to Sunday night (20-yr high school reunion!!).
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From:zarfmouse
Date:October 29th, 2003 12:50 pm (UTC)

Re: why yes, of course, flatter me some more.

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Drunken thesis. Excellent.

Monday, 2pm, meet at 107 W. Washington. We shall ride? I'll invite Arun. Bring your thesis.

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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:05 pm (UTC)

Re: why yes, of course, flatter me some more.

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You never came to bike last Monday. You haven't posted to LJ since the prairie dog thing. Everything ok?
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From:arohanui
Date:November 8th, 2003 06:58 pm (UTC)
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don't ever grow up
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:04 pm (UTC)

*zing*

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Oh....OUCH!

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From:arohanui
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:12 pm (UTC)

* kisses it better *

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It wasn't a criticism.

After spending years and years and years trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I discovered that being grown up is overrated.

Now I'm just trying to reconnect to my childlike delight in living. That's proving much healthier.

We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
   -- RWE
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:16 pm (UTC)

Re: * kisses it better *

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When I was in kindergarten I wanted to be a garbage man because it looked like fun to ride on the side of the truck and to smash things with the flick of a lever.

Now after having gone through astronaut, astro-physicist, cosmologist, computer programmer, system administrator, linguist, cognitive anthropologist, community organizer, and professional activist as desired careers I sometimes once again have a hankerin for the continuous exertion/meditation of manual labor.

I honestly never plan to grow up in the boring way. I'm all about the childlike delights (though I certainly delight in a number of activities that I'd never recommend for children).
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From:arohanui
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:33 pm (UTC)
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I usually avoid 'morning radio' like the plague, but the one on the Auckland varsity student radio station, bFM, could be pretty funny, so I did tune in fairly frequently on my way to work.

One of the things they did during the time I was living up there was run a series of interviews with people who had all the jobs that children hanker after, fire fighter, racing car driver, astrophysicist. (New Zealand has no space program, sadly, although the NZSA used to have a hilarious web site. I would give a lot to be an astronaut.)

The interviewees had fascinating stories, but the major win for most listeners was in making them think about how the hell they ended up in whatever career they ended up in, given that it bore no resemblance whatsoever to whatever they wanted to be when they grew up.

Why do so many of us lose our dreams?
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From:arohanui
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:37 pm (UTC)

here's to manual labour

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I love tactility.

I did love many aspects of my coder geek life, but one thing I missed badly was being able to touch the fruits of my labours. I envied all my Architecture School mates, who could point out, could actually walked around, what they'd built.

Here's to touching.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:09 pm (UTC)
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For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure you meant that in a nice "being a grown up is boring" way rather than a "your linguistics is the suck, you are totally full of shit, don't grow up and become a linguist" way...but after a week of being particularly immersed in the dog eat dog world that is the other main online forum that I read my first reading was the latter. It would have been a very good cut if you'd meant it that way, it would have won you points in teh meta game of onlnie locker room dominance. :)

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From:arohanui
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:14 pm (UTC)
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Oh man, you're as bad as me for reading personal comments in the worst possible light.

I don't eat dogs.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:11 pm (UTC)
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cutting down my spelling in that last post would win you even more points. ;)

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From:arohanui
Date:November 8th, 2003 07:15 pm (UTC)
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I only get anal retentive about my own comments.
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