Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Cory. Cory Wonders, “What is linguistics?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Cory!

Have you ever WONDERed why English speakers say “mice” instead of “mouses”? Maybe you think it strange that the words “rough” and “cough” don’t rhyme. Or perhaps you’re interested in dialects and accents. If so, then today’s Wonder of the Day is for you! It’s all about linguistics.

Linguistics is the study of language. People around the globe speak over 6,000 different languages today. Linguists use the scientific method to learn about each one. As you can imagine, this is a large field of study!

Most linguists become experts in a specific area of the field. For example, they might choose to learn about how sounds work together to form words. Others might become experts on how people attach meaning to those words. Still others could study prefixes, suffixes, and root words. 

Some linguists learn about the history of languages and how they’ve changed over time. Many focus on how the human brain is wired to use language or how children learn to communicate. Others might be experts in how language affects specific people or communities

Where do linguists work? Just about everywhere! You might find them working as college professors, researchers, or translators. They may have jobs in areas like artificial intelligence, publishing, or speech therapy. 

Some experts in this field even work for dictionaries. How would you like to help decide whether new slang terms should be in the dictionary? What about emojis and other parts of language influenced by technology? There are many jobs that fit the expertise of a linguist.

Are you interested in becoming a linguist? The first step is to attend college and earn a degree in the field. From there, many linguists go to graduate school to specialize in a certain area of linguistics. Linguists are highly educated, curious people who love to learn about language.

And who doesn’t? Language is very important to human life. Without it, communication between people would be much more difficult. Are you interested in learning more about language and how people use it? If so, a future in linguistics could be right for you!

Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.SL.4, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.4, CCRA.SL.5, CCRA.SL.1

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