In a message dated 7/26/00 [log in to unmask] writes:

<< It's unfortunate, but linguists are almost never consulted in language
 policy issues (and the public's understanding of linguistic issues is so
 incredibly backwards that most linguists want no part of public debate,
 this is mostly the fault of the schools but that's another thorny issue

 So, in the US the whole Ebonics debacle was carried on with no meaningful
 input from linguists (almost all the arguments made by both sides in that
 issue were wrong, either silly-wrong or dangerous-wrong but wrong)
 Similarly, public discussions of bilingual education are mostly entirely
 free from contributions from professional linguists. (and when they
 aren't, everything they say is misunderstood, misapplied or misconstrued)

 In Germany, the recent orthographical reform was free from the input of
 professional linguists (and in fact no guiding principles were used,
 mostly it was philologists tinkering with individual words on an ad hoc

 mike farris
That sounds pretty bad. But I wonder if the problem isn't with the linguists
themselves. Other sciences ARE trying to educate the public. I love getting
scientific information. Why is it that amongst the astronomy, the biology,
the chemistry, the physics, the run of the mill sociology and psychology, I,
Public Man Dan, find laying about on magazine racks, and science ezines,
there is never a whit of linguistics?

Is the problem with my my cuz, John Q, or is it with the linguistic
profession? If the latter, what exactly could be done about it,
hypothetically speaking, of course.