Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Yellow Card Question, Episode 3

Well, seeing as how it has been two weeks since the last yellow card question, it must be time for a new one. But I'm kinda tired, so I'm not feeling up to putting on my clown suit and magician's hat. All right fine, I'll put on my yellow raincoat and rollerblade onto stage. Okay? Are you happy now?

Now, it's time for the yellow card. (Applause) Here, from my amazing stack of questions, special for today, exclusively for this audience, we have a question! (I try a bit too hard to look excited, and almost lose my balance. Audience applauds.) A special question that you've all been waiting for, chosen randomly and without the possibility of a rigged card draw! (Applause)

"If you were given one million dollars, what would you buy?"

Well, I think I would buy two things.

One is Liner's system of mail tubes, so we could climb into little capsules and be sucked to another continent in a few seconds. I think that wouldn't cost very much if I drove a hard bargain and had it made in China.

With the money left over, I would assemble a linguistics (or cogsci) department that pays attention to neuroscience and cognitive psychology and explores language in its cognitive and social context, that neither ignores linguistic theory nor takes any of it too seriously, that does take real languages and linguistic diversity seriously, that has plenty of quantitative experimental research (both corpus-based and psycholinguistic) but still has room for more exploratory (but still empirical) research, and that has people working on the whole spectrum of phenomena from phonetics to discourse structure and pragmatics. Oh, and they should let me study there.

Is that too much to ask?


the girl in the red hat said...

The world is not the rational place we once thought it. We console ourselves by making the best compromises we can, and taking NONE of it too seriously except food, family and friends.