Quote: Please don't try to argue against me by restating what I've already said. There is a difference between linguistic research ... and an anecdotal thread on an internet message board from geographically dispersed regions that involves vague information, hearsay, and probably a bunch of embellished or fabricated information.
Nowhere did I claim that "anecdotal" refers to what you just exuviated.
"Internet thread"?? Please don't try to argue against me by changing what I write.
Quote: While linguistics is subjective and highly diachronic, it is NOT informal.
Are you implying that, because linguistics is "subjective* and diachronic", we should somehow expect it, on account of these attributes, to be also informal? If so, you would be wrong. The diachronic attribute of a discipline (and not just Lingustics) has little to do with the informality of it. It can be informal and stand the test of time. Or it can (aspire to) be formal and not survive the year.
I was specific, and I thought also very clear, in stating that Linguistic research on modern languages is based almost entirely on the "anecdotal".link to post Being anecdotal is not the same as being based on the anecdotal -- in any language... And the brackets are no accident.
* Linguistics is not something like stone sculpture! But that would digress on the issue of subjectivity.
Quote: Are you implying that, because linguistics is "subjective* and diachronic", we should somehow expect it, on account of these attributes, to be also informal?
No, I'm saying the exact opposite, in plain English.
There is a difference between linguistic research which collects evidence that INCLUDES anecdotes and oral histories in a larger, more formal context, and a thread on the internet that contains ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE - informal, random, unverifiable, etc.
One is useful and one is not.
In other words, there is a difference between COLLECTING ANECDOTES in the course of research, to analyze their structure, significance, content etc, which is what linguists do, and being ANECDOTAL, meaning comprised totally of anecdotes, hearsay, and informal information. A paper on linguistics in any respected journal will not be described as 'anecdotal.'
Quote: If one concedes that there are some portion of straight men who speak in an effeminate manner (there seems to be such a trend among men in the deep south raised by higher society domineering mothers in my experience), and that some portion of all men speak with a lisp, there must be some small number of effeminate, lisping straight men.