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"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home."
- Anna Quindlen

Reading progress update: I've read 38 out of 257 pages.

Aliens and Linguists: Language Study and Science Fiction (South Atlantic Modern Language Association award study) - Walter Earl Meyers

This is why I shouldn't wander in the stacks of the downtown library, especially when I am in the middle of three other books...  You expect me to have the willpower to see something like this on the shelf and just walk past it??  Psh.


So far, this study of language in science fiction basically boils down to: SF authors pride themselves on being scientifically accurate in terms of physics and biology, but they don't know shit about linguistics.  A character will travel 100,000 years into the future and people will still be speaking 20th-century standard English, with maybe a handful of new slang thrown in.  Bullshit, says this book.  And I'm reading it going, "YEAH!  Stick it to 'em!"  Because even though I know it's done for plot expedience, this kind of thing drives me CRAZY.


And this was written in 1980, so some of the more interesting modern examples don't factor in (Embassytown!  The Book of the New Sun!  The Color of Distance!  Snow Crash!  Hellspark!  Cloud Atlas!)  Maybe authors are getting better about being linguistically authentic. I think they are.