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Philology

2008-10-23

Category: prose

Philology, as it is taken in modern terms, is the study of language and literature as it changes through time. For example, if you were to study the transition of the English language from Old West Saxon through Middle English to become Modern English to become Texting Emoticons, you would be practicing philology. To get more understanding of this fascinating subject, I've decided to interview philologist (noted below as Phil.)

LB: Welcome, Phil. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.

Phil: I'm happy to be here. So few people show any interest in my work.

LB: Let's see if we can change that. What made you decide to become a philologist?

Phil: What? I'm not a philologist.

LB: I'm sorry; I thought you were a philologist. You know; someone who studies language.

Phil: I see the cause of the confusion. You see, I'm a philologer.

LB: Philologer? I'm not familiar with that.

Phil: Not many people are. Philologists are interested in the past. A philologer is interested in the future.

LB: I get it. You are extrapolating likely future changes in languages.

Phil: Oh, no. I can tell your future based on your current language.

LB: The future?

Phil: Yep, the future.

LB: Ok. Uh, that's, uh, different. Uhm, why don't you tell us more about that?

Phil: It's an old art. I inherited it from my mother's side of the family.

LB: This is something you do regularly?

Phil: I have to; it just happens when I hear someone talk.

LB: Do you make a living doing this?

Phil: I wouldn't feel right taking money for this gift. I believe this gift should be shared freely.

LB: That's very generous of you.

Phil: Of course, sometimes it's not so fun. Like when I have to give someone bad news, that's no fun at all. This one time I was talking to a lawyer outside a law firm in Des Moines and he was wondering whether or not his interview went well. I could tell right away from his speech that he didn't get it.

LB: What about his speech gave it away.

Phil: Well, he had a strong southern accent. I would rather do almost anything than give bad news to someone.

LB: Ah, I guess that makes sense. So tell me, based on my speech, what can you tell me about my future.

Phil: Uh, will you look at that time. I didn't realize that it was getting that late. I really should be going.

LB: But we scheduled this interview to run a full half hour. It hasn't been anywhere near that long yet.

Phil: Half hour? Well then I really must be going then. Take care.

LB: Uh, ok. You too.

That ended the interview. I think we've all learned something today.


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