Linguistics, the most diverse of all sciences, a phrase which here means "utterly inscrutable".

Just The Facts

  1. Linguistics is the science of language
  2. Noam Chomsky gets a lot of the credit for modern linguistics, mostly because he's the only linguist anyone's actually heard of.
  3. Linguists will kick your ass if you joke about their "cunning".

If you're taking a linguistics class, this won't help at all.

Linguistics is a field of study known for its odd mixture of "practical" and "fucking insane by the standards of your average guy." Linguistics is a pretty harmless field compared to physics and the like except for its uses in mind control bizarre alternative therapies perfect for exploitation by electronic music groups neuro-linguistic programming, not to mention the shock your right-leaning colleagues will no doubt experience when they find out Persian (aka "that godless Iranian terrorist ooga-booga language) is actually a distant relative of English.

What Linguistics Isn't

One thing I can not stress enough is that linguistics doesn't mean speaking French in Russian, nor does it entail being a grammar nazi, though most linguists are slight typography Klansmen and will not appreciate having apostrophe's in pluralized English nouns.

Subfields of Linguistics

Phonology: This is the study of individual sounds in a language, and extensively uses dictionary-style f��net�ªk speli��. �¦s ju k�¦n si��, which is p�°r�¨ti�� hard t�°u ri��d.

Syntactics: The study of grammar. It's better than it sounds.

Historical Linguistics: Yet another way of proving humanity is obsessed with food and vaginas, as well giving us kickass terms like "Finno-Ugric", "P-Celtic", and "Pit Grave Culture". Also has more family trees then a Mormon taxonomist on steroids.

Neurolinguistics: Normal linguistics gone Cyberpunk, also nigh-incomprehensible if you're not a scientist.