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11:15 AM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Offensive body detected, potentially bad keyword in body: Can I use this words? by user74291 on ell.SE
 
 
2 hours later…
1:14 PM
 
 
1 hour later…
2:36 PM
@s.patroller That is so awesome. @snailboat needs to see it!
 
I almost posted that in here yesterday.
 
 
5 hours later…
7:20 PM
Interesting.
 
what made you change your mind? @Catija
I think language learning, in general, is a form of applied linguistics.
In the sense that a lot of physics is applied math and biochem is applied organic chem etc, etc.
 
7:39 PM
Well, I looked it up and CGEL says the following: "It is used as a dummy subject with verbs and predicative adjectives denoting weather conditions, as in [It is raining. It became very humid.]. It does not represent a semantic argument and cannot be replaced by any other NP: it has the purely syntactic function of filling the obligatory subject position."
However, the authors address this (the comic's) very issue in the footnote: "There are some rather marginal constructions in casual style where it behaves more like a semantically contentful pronoun. It is trying to rain involves a kind of personification with it assigned an agent role by virtue of being subject of try; in %It rained and flooded the basement, the it is subject of a VP-coordination that includes a non-weather verb."
I think the sentence marked with % (which denotes that the sentence is grammatical in some dialects, but not all) is close to the one the linguist from the comic is wondering about.
 
(For anyone wondering, I found it on page 1482.)
@s.patroller But is language learning a science?
 
7:58 PM
Sure, in the old fashion sense of the word "science."
 
@s.patroller So you're calling small children scientists? They learn a language by merely being immersed in it.
 
Well, anyone who studies science is a scientist, no?
 
@s.patroller I'm a scientist
Definitely
@userr2684291 No, it's a kind of vegetable
 
@s.patroller They don't really study it in the sense a scientist might.
 
True.
 
8:06 PM
I don't know what you mean by "in the old-fashioned sense of the word" – do you mean like "knowledge"? Haha. Because that's the original meaning (Latin scientia, -ae).
 
Yes, exactly.
The study of an organized body of knowledge.
 
OK...
 
To me, language is how knowledge is systematically organized.
 
@s.patroller But I think sciences (in the more usual sense) like linguistics are more about categorization. Otherwise you could say basic human motor coordination is applied kinematics and dynamics (physics).
Sciences are categorizations of their respective subjects of study as well as relations between them.
(Just made that up.)
@s.patroller I don't think it's systematically organized at all.
 
Then why do we have "grammar"?
 
8:16 PM
Yeah, but I meant in our minds.
 
Sure there is a huge gap between thoughts and words.
 
@s.patroller to use whenever we're too lazy to choose the right tag
 
@M.A.R.ಠ_ಠ Almost artichoked on that one.
(:
 
@userr2684291 lettuce forget you ever made that pun
 
8:39 PM
@M.A.R.ಠ_ಠ If that'll make you happea...
 

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