Language pundit

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A language pundit (from pandita, Sanskrit for "scholar, learned man"[1]) is a person, usually a columnist or journalist, who takes it upon him/herself to criticise people's use of language or, at best, to come up with ingenious, but poorly documented etymologies. Likewise, Steven Pinker refers to four kinds of language mavens, dividing them up into the harmless "wordwatchers"; the "Jeremiahs", who express "their bitter laments and righteous prophecies of doom"; the "entertainers", who "show off" their collection of palindromes, puns, howlers and bloopers; and the "sages", who take a "moderate, common-sense approach."[2]

William Safire, himself a self-acknowledged "'language maven' and 'political pundit'", stated thus: "Pundit is an expert on nothing but an authority on everything, a harmless nudge.".[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "On Language; Pundit-Bashing" William Safire The New York Times. Retrieved 2nd December 2012.
  2. Pinker, S. The Language Instinct. pp. 397-9. HarperPerennial. 2000.
  3. "Political Pundit (Punditry)" Barry Popik Retrieved 2nd December 2012.