Dream linguistics

In an extended vivid dream last night, some colleague said, bitingly, of a paper of mine:

I dislike what you say and how you say it, but I like that you said it.

The paper was about a dozen specific words (none of which I can remember, of course; I never think to take notes in dreams), but I can’t recall what aspect of them was at issue, beyond its not being their phonology: morphology, syntax, usage, sociolinguistic status, etymology, whatever.

In my dream, I did mount a reply, but that too has vanished in the mists of memory. I don’t think I commented on the metacritique — that there is value in clearly saying things that the critic believes to be wrong.

 

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