Boudewijn Rempt wrote:
> General linguistics tends to be taken for the wrong reasons, though,
> as an aside to specific language studies, by people more interested
> in literature. I don't know whether that's true in Scandinavia, too,
> but you might try to draw them on the literatures of their choice,
> to see whether they "are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will
> spue thee out of my mouth.", or are capable of enthousiasm.

I'm not sure what a "correct reason" would be. I ended up taking
linguistics through computer science. I was focussing on artificial
intelligence (this was back in the 1980's), and had exhausted the
courses available on the topic, and another student suggested I try the
Linguistics department for its connection to natural language
processing. I was hooked after my first class, and quickly developed an
interest in the topic for its own sake. For my master's degree, I
eventually ended up doing my thesis on a computational linguistics
topic, and my thesis advisor was from the Linguistics department but
taught a few classes in the Computer Science department.

My interest in linguistics for its own sake really surprised me. I had
studied German during junior high and high school, but never really
caught the language "bug". After the formal linguistics in graduate
school, then I started conlanging and also regained a serious interest
in studying natlangs. The only thing holding me back now is lack of
study time.

Speaking of people's reactions to one's linguistics pursuits (of any
sort). The one that surprises everyone now is not that I'm studying
foreign languages, but that I'm simultaneously working on Japanese and
Norwegian. *That* really boggles people.

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"Being bright does not grant an immunity to doing idiotic
things; more like, it just enlarges the possible scope."
     -- Lois McMaster Bujold