April 24, 2005

The King of Linguistics

Thanks to Mark Liberman's having pointed us to the amaztype zeitgeist site, I can now report that the title of King of Linguistics has been taken, by one Andrew Laidlaw, a young white UK hip hop artist who performs under the name MC (or M.C.) Unique. The title is, presumably, a boast about his facility with the English language.

How did I find this out? Well, first, zeitgeist informed me, a few minutes ago, that LINGUISTICS had now pushed PHP out of the #10 slot in the rankings of words recently requested by users of amaztype (which spells out words using thumbnails of titles, from the amazon.com database, with those words in them). (Meanwhile, LANGUAGE is holding on at its recently achieved #3 position, behind SEX and FUCK.) So I went to the amaztype homepage and checked on LINGUISTICS in book titles; there are, no surprise, a great many such titles. No dvd or video titles with LINGUISTICS in them, however. And only one music title with LINGUISTICS in it: yes, MC Unique's "The King of Linguistics", named after one of the raps on the cd.

While I was playing with the software, I checked out LINGUIST. No music, but there's a series of dvds entitled "X 101 (Learn to Speak X wiith the Travel Linguist)", where X is French, German, Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, or Spanish.

But it's shocking that linguistics and linguists haven't been celebrated in the titles of music and films. "Lay, Linguist, Lay". "The Lilt of Linguistics". "Let Me Call You Linguist". "The Lady from Linguistics". "Lassie Saves the Linguists". "The Last Linguist". So many possibilities, not one of them yet exploited.

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Posted by Arnold Zwicky at April 24, 2005 10:47 PM