Ever since I launched this website a few years ago, it was my intention to be an active blogger. Obviously that didn't happen. But for the last couple years I have been collecting ideas for blog posts, and I've decided to finally start posting them.
There are drawbacks to blogging for a young academic, the main one being that you don't really get credit for your blog posts. They aren't publications, and you can't put them on your CV. In other words, for a post doc like me who's looking for a tenure track job, blogging doesn't obviously help achieve that goal. So I see this as an extracurricular hobby that takes a backseat to my real work, namely producing research, and also teaching. That said, I do think there is the potential to do important work here, the work of sharing linguistics with non-linguists. We linguists are a rare breed, even within academia, so sometimes our colleagues and the general public get strange ideas about who we are and what we're about. I think linguists need to speak to non-linguists more often, and I hope to play my small part with this blog.
The blog is going to be loosely about language and cognitive science. But it's going to be about ideas that aren't publishable as linguistic research. Often they are thoughts I have as I'm engaging with the broader culture (news articles, podcasts, TV shows, etc.). So in many cases, the posts will engage with issues of interest to non-linguists, and present an opportunity to give non-linguists some insight into how a linguist thinks. It has become clear to me that being trained as a linguist has had a profound impact on how I see the world. I think the mindset probably shares something with that of other scientists, and, perhaps because I'm a semanticist, also philosophers, logicians, and mathematicians. It's a sharpened ability to evaluate arguments, to see what follows from what as well as what does not follow. It's also a broadened capacity to conceive of possible explanations for observations, and to search for evidence for or against those explanations. What is unique to the linguist is the way of seeing arguments about language specifically. I'm excited to share this mode of thought.
Occasionally, the posts may veer away from linguistics/cognitive science entirely, and that's fine too.
So that's what this blog will be about. I hope to post around once a week to once a month. But I won't be surprised if I find that pace hard to keep. I won't try to force it if I don't have ideas, but as long as I do have them, I hope to post them.