Climate change or global warming: which sounds scarier? I heard an interesting interview this evening on NPR with Berkeley Linguistics Prof George Lakoff in which he describes the way that language “frames” the way we understand science. His criticism of scientists for not considering the way their words will be interpreted by the general public is well made.
(There’s an amusing typo on the NPR page right now: Lakoff is described as a “professor of linguists” — presumably, then, he studies the curious behavior of his fellow linguists.)
This is one more reason that all scientists should take a good scientific writing course, and that all university writing programs should get serious about writing in the sciences, not just the humanities. And since more and more science is being written in English by non-native speakers, we ESL specialists need to be part of that conversation.
Any thoughts? Do share! Click leave a comment at the top of this post.