School Of Fish, Not Thought

| Learning | December 17, 2013

(We are discussing language and politeness in class.)
Lecturer: “Okay. Say if your lecturer had given you their fish to look after, and you accidentally killed it. How would you tell them?”

Student: “Why has the lecturer given me their fish? Isn’t that breaking the politeness/respect barrier in the first place?”

Lecturer: “Well, maybe it was for an experiment or something.”

Me: “I’m a linguistics student, not a scientist!”

Student #2: “Linguistics is a science!”

Student #1: “What kind of linguistic experiments am I running with goldfish, anyway?”

Lecturer: “Can we get back to the point? How would you tell your lecturer you’d accidentally killed their goldfish?”

Student #1: “Sorry. It turns out that taking a goldfish out of water doesn’t give it the ability to speak language. But at least we know now!”

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