I come not to praise Caesar but to make some salad dressing February 15, 2007 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I would like to say something nice about languagehat.
posted by y2karl to MetaFilter-Related at 12:43 PM (158 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

Go ahead. We're listening.
posted by muddgirl at 12:45 PM on February 15, 2007


I think his posts have been great but rare. His comments, on the other hand, while not as rare as his posts, have been great as well. He can be cranky and he's too into the flameouts by my lights, but, all in all, his presence here has made this place a far better place. Someone made the comment recently that, as educated and well read as languagehat is, he can explain himself without talking down to anyone or making them feel stupid. In a place where everyone is used to being the smartest person in the room, that is no small thing. He never brags about his education, he never belittles people for their lack of same. He treats people with respect. I think he's overdue for for his own personal shout out thread for that alone. And he's funny, warm, insightful and always interesting--so there's another reason.
posted by y2karl at 12:45 PM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I just re-posted this because it didn't show up on my computer here. My apologies.
posted by y2karl at 12:46 PM on February 15, 2007


Hell, yeah.
posted by everichon at 12:48 PM on February 15, 2007


languagehat drinks the blood of puppies.
posted by twiggy at 12:50 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


His hat may be filled with language, but he's full of shit.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:51 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Haaaaaaaaa.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:53 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but what kind of puppies?

Just kidding - I second y2karl.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:53 PM on February 15, 2007


+
posted by grouse at 12:54 PM on February 15, 2007


He's been a lot less cranky lately.
posted by smackfu at 12:57 PM on February 15, 2007


Hear hear. languagehat is a good guy. I remember arguing with him about DFW—probably our first encounter ever—and (even though he was insufferably wrong about the whole thing) he was strikingly well-spoken and respectful.

And I don't know if he's really even been less cranky lately so much as was just sort of spiking on the cranky for a while in the middle of an otherwise crankless existence.

And now, beers at his place.
posted by cortex at 1:03 PM on February 15, 2007


*lights commemorative languagehat torch, waves it overhead like a Bic at an 80's hairband arena*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:05 PM on February 15, 2007


I agree. Two posts on MeTa are too few!
posted by OmieWise at 1:06 PM on February 15, 2007


*uses torch to light a blunt*
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 1:10 PM on February 15, 2007


Hats off to the 'hat.
posted by onalark at 1:11 PM on February 15, 2007


Two too few indeed.

AKA Tutu Fugue in D.

And can we decide in which thread to roast or toast old 'hat?
posted by Mister_A at 1:12 PM on February 15, 2007


I'll post one, if we need it, OmieWise. I [insert heart icon here that I don't know how to make without finding one and cutting and pasting, damn my eyes] languagehat.
posted by cgc373 at 1:12 PM on February 15, 2007


I don't like languages or hats.

But I love people who drink the blood of puppies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:12 PM on February 15, 2007


Nice! The Decider has eliminated the extra thread. We love you The Decider!

Come on down here and grab the mike, languagehat! Speech!
posted by Mister_A at 1:14 PM on February 15, 2007


I always picture the actual languagehat itself as that talking hat from the Harry Potter that tells you what team you are on, but instead of doing that it just screams at you in Russian with short breaks to decline Latin nouns in an eerie moan. Also more of a Greek fisherman's cap than a middle-earth hippie leather cone, other than that just the same.

Just me?

Three cheers for L-Hat!

Also I would like to thank Y2karl for this:

Upon reflection, however, the ghost at the banquet aspect is unsettling. Not to mention unseemly, not mention annoying.


in the Tsarfan thread, about Tsarfan popping into a thread about his own banning, I chuckled at that all night.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:16 PM on February 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Maybe we can get languagehat to flameout in this thread. T'would be a work of performance art!
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on February 15, 2007


I did see languagehat strangling a hooker behind a seedy bar just last weekend.

I thought, "That man is the coolest!"
posted by eyeballkid at 1:20 PM on February 15, 2007


i like anyone who promises to buy me beer.
posted by nola at 1:20 PM on February 15, 2007


languagehat is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.
posted by tkolar at 1:27 PM on February 15, 2007


He's a good guy who brings up the already high level of discourse on MetaFilter.

I have a vaguely amusing anecdote to tell that doesn't actually feature the real languagehat at all, but rather his legend. When my wife, MeFi user grapefruitmoon, and I lived in Vermont, we would often drive down to Western Mass on I-91, which passes through Greenfield. For some reason we thought he lived there (he doesn't). We joked one day that we might see him from the car. However, passing through Greenfield on I-91 all one can see is trees. So the joke became that we might see him running through the woods, and we would recognize him from the fact that he'd be wearing nothing but his hat. After that we started referring to him by the epithet The Behatted Wild Man of Greenfield, and sometimes we still do.
posted by Kattullus at 1:28 PM on February 15, 2007 [6 favorites]


Wow. Between that Cortex song of love to mefites and this I'm beginning to wonder what the hell is the water cooler round here anyway. Sheesh.
posted by Skygazer at 1:28 PM on February 15, 2007


He's not really all that clean.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:29 PM on February 15, 2007


We love you The Decider!

Thanks. And I love languagehat. Transitive love all around!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:36 PM on February 15, 2007


"Wow. Between that Cortex song of love to mefites and this I'm beginning to wonder what the hell is the water cooler round here anyway. Sheesh."

MDMA, and I dosed all you motherfuckers! SUCK IT, HATERS! (Well, suck it, everyone, if my experiences with MDMA are representative).
posted by klangklangston at 1:37 PM on February 15, 2007


I've always pictured the hat of language being more of a fine chapeau.
"... flat, very narrow atop, but with a broad brim, adorned with long silken strings interlaced; suspended from within with rows of tassels, called by the Italians focci, increasing in number as they come lower."
Like that.
posted by Floydd at 1:41 PM on February 15, 2007


MDMA, and I dosed all you motherfuckers!

Damn it. I knew something was up; I usually can't stand you asshats.
posted by cortex at 1:44 PM on February 15, 2007


I picture languagehat as Chester J. Lampwick, the hobo from the Simpsons who actually came up with Itchy and Scratchy. He is always wearing a top hat with the top busted out. I like him.
posted by ND¢ at 1:44 PM on February 15, 2007


Klang: MDMA, and I dosed all you motherfuckers! SUCK IT, HATERS! (Well, suck it, everyone, if my experiences with MDMA are representative).


And KlangKlangston comes up to the plate, he swings, he connect!! That slowball is right out of here!! Go GO GO klangklangston!! You did it.

I love you man...
posted by Skygazer at 1:49 PM on February 15, 2007


Languagehat is one of those MeFites (whom I haven't met) whose voice I actually hear in my head when I read his posts. It's a small comfort, a thimble of fresh water in a salty sea of idiots. And it says lots about his steadiness and his ability to transcend cold text with self-expression. It's been a real pleasure to read his posts, even the ones which point out my occasional dipshittedness.
posted by hermitosis at 1:53 PM on February 15, 2007


I just love the fact that he's always defending the (cool) one link posts from the "one link posts are forbidden"-crowd.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:57 PM on February 15, 2007


I hate that crowd. And languagehat is cool. Plus, he's a grownup!
posted by timeistight at 2:15 PM on February 15, 2007


Everything I know about hats, I learned from Languagehat.
posted by Skygazer at 2:18 PM on February 15, 2007


I...I thought it was just me, ND¢.
posted by maryh at 2:22 PM on February 15, 2007


Pfft.
My socks nearly almost always match, the donning of pants have become almost an everyday habit, and I took a bath last month, but does anyone notice? Do I get kudos?
No.
Fuck all y'all.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:23 PM on February 15, 2007


He is doubleplusgood.
posted by COBRA! at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2007


I have always considered languagehat to be the antonym of asshat.

Of course, it mathowie is really Sylar from "Heroes", then lang'hat must be Gaius Baltar on BG.
posted by wendell at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2007


I, too, love reading languagehat's comments.
posted by frecklefaerie at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2007


I would like to say something nice about Sylar from Heroes.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:29 PM on February 15, 2007


He is The Man to lay down some language smack. Whatever that means. He'd be the one who'd know that too.
posted by i_cola at 2:30 PM on February 15, 2007


This is very hard for me, but I would like to say something, too.

Languagehat is my father, and I love him very much.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:32 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's often considered not very British to join in on this sort of thing.

I'll make an exception for The Hat. A kind man and generous with support behind the scenes, I am pleased to be given the chance to say thanks again to him.

Cheers, mate.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:42 PM on February 15, 2007


I once witnessed languagehat enter a Guatemalan orphanage, pull a few babies from their incubators, juggle them like fruit, then toss them out of the windows. The jaunty angle of his fedora and sensible, erudite explanation for the incident forced authorities to let him off scott-free, no questions asked.
posted by deern the headlice at 2:46 PM on February 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


[languagehat is good]
posted by tigerbelly at 2:49 PM on February 15, 2007


If he doesn't flame out as a result of this thread, it has all been in vain.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:50 PM on February 15, 2007


I picture him looking like Lenin, with a tweed jacket, patched at the elbows, and a pipe.
posted by unSane at 2:55 PM on February 15, 2007


PS I would also like to say something nice about him but I can't think of anything. Nevertheless, I always read his posts with anticipation -- as in, ah, now, what's the miserable erudite old fucker going to say about THIS?
posted by unSane at 2:58 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hear languagehat's been plucked more times than the Rose of Tralee. Biggest whore on Fifth Avenue, I'm told!
posted by pardonyou? at 2:59 PM on February 15, 2007


In the topmost portion of this page, you can see an actual photograph of Languagehat. He's on the left.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:01 PM on February 15, 2007


You know who else spoke another language and wore a hat?
posted by found missing at 3:01 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I too have a mad MeFi crush on languagehat. There's just something about a well-spoken , intelligently-posting, articulate man that makes me swoon. I ♥ language hat!
posted by Lynsey at 3:02 PM on February 15, 2007


He is, indeed, a giant among men [NOT SEXIST]
posted by dg at 3:10 PM on February 15, 2007


You know who else spoke another language and wore a hat?

Cyrano de Bergerac?
posted by cortex at 3:13 PM on February 15, 2007


Marcel Marceau.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2007


In the topmost portion of this page, you can see an actual photograph of Languagehat. He's on the left.

Holy crap, that is him, isnt it?
posted by unSane at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2007


The Hamburglar.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hear, hear!


You know who else spoke another language and wore a hat?

Zorro?
posted by R. Mutt at 3:20 PM on February 15, 2007


The Hamburglar.
Naw. The Hamburglar's Hat.
posted by juv3nal at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2007


Can you spot him in this old high school yearbook picture?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:27 PM on February 15, 2007


Good lord!

I want you all to know that the reason it took me so long to get here is that I was meandering through Miguel's old MeTa posts and laughing like a loon and thinking what a wonderful place this is and wishing Migs would come around more, loquacious bastard that he is and it took hours, and then I noticed it was getting dark and woke my wife up from her nap and took the cats' dinner out of the fridge and then... then... some mysterious force drew me back to MetaFilter, and this is what I find!

I do in fact drink the blood of puppies; I tried to go on the wagon recently, which is what made me cranky, but now that I've accepted my addiction I'm all sweetness and light. And as for the stuff about not making people feel stupid: I really appreciated it when jonmc said that (thanks, compadre!), because that's what I've been aiming for. If I've succeeded, I think it's because I genuinely believe everybody knows lots of worthwhile stuff; I've spent way too much time reading way too many esoteric books, so my knowledge tends to be unusual, but I don't think of it as particularly valuable. When it's relevant to a discussion, I enjoy sharing it, but I enjoy just as much learning from all y'all, who know zillions of things that I don't, most of them far more useful than my scraps of foreign languages and odd bits of history. This has been one of my all-time favorite quotes since I was a kid, and I figure if Isaac Newton saw himself as basically ignorant, picking up the occasional pebble or shell "whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me," I must be several orders of magnitude more ignorant... which is great, because it means I'll never get bored!

I'll take this opportunity to apologize to everyone I've blasted with my LanguageBlaster when I got het up about politics or prescriptivism; all I can say is that I was a lot worse 30 years ago, and I'm deeply grateful the internet didn't exist when I was a snotty grad student, or I'd have some embarrassing posts to live down. I try to achieve the calm, dispassionate tone of a dhartung, but sometimes that argumentative impulse gets the better of me. So: mea culpa, and beers all around!

And now I've got to go; Lyuba, the crankier and more female of the cats, is reminding me forcibly that although I took the food out of the fridge, I have not yet actually dished it out. So in conclusion: I hate you all thanks, guys and gals, and I'll try to flame out in a truly memorable fashion!
posted by languagehat at 3:27 PM on February 15, 2007 [13 favorites]


You of all people—if you don't already know about it—will appreciate Robert K. Merton's study of your favorite quotation, then, languagehat. The thing astounds!
posted by cgc373 at 3:37 PM on February 15, 2007


Bravo!

What the hell does "bravo" mean, anyhow? Is it, like, Mexican?
posted by breezeway at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2007


Heh. Shoulda known. You got it and gave it five stars.
posted by cgc373 at 3:39 PM on February 15, 2007


Given the opportunity I would lick the languagehat like I've licked the cmonkey, but I don't know if languagehat is the same class of beer magnet.
posted by loquacious at 3:39 PM on February 15, 2007


When the Revolution comes, languagehat won't be against the wall. I'll spare him because he is a nice chap. But the rest of you are warned.
posted by dios at 3:41 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, indeed. There are many fine folks here. Not so certain threads like this are a great idea, but I assume y2karl's heart is in the right place, and ol' LH is most deserving of being bought a beer or ten, virtual or otherwise.

So here's to him, and all the people who still make this, after going-on-seven-years, my favorite place on the internets.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:50 PM on February 15, 2007


I should also say that languagehat is a very accommodating guy. I bug him every once in awhile to pry his mind and get his impression on things. He always seems willing to help out. I always hope that I can reciprocate at some point, but he never seems to have an issue he needs any help on.

It makes me happy that two of the most fair-minded and interesting individuals on this site--two of the people who are part of the reason I stick around--cortex and languagehat both got accolades. That so much better for the community than the personality conflicts here.
posted by dios at 3:57 PM on February 15, 2007


I figure if Isaac Newton saw himself as basically ignorant...

Yeah, and Newton was into astrology, too, and you know who else was into astrology....
posted by y2karl at 3:58 PM on February 15, 2007


Nancy Reagan!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:02 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Papa Smurf!
posted by y2karl at 4:08 PM on February 15, 2007


Richard Dawkins!




No. Wait.
posted by flashboy at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2007


Dr. Scott!
posted by loquacious at 4:18 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm stalking Languagehat as I type this. Looking in his window right now. I see you in there with your language.. and your hats.. wait, what's this, attack cats! No Lyuba, No!!! (runs away screaming)
posted by vronsky at 4:25 PM on February 15, 2007


Guy Mannering!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:29 PM on February 15, 2007


Pia Zadora!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2007


languagehat totally flamed me once so I feel very special.
posted by GuyZero at 4:45 PM on February 15, 2007


And I like l-hat as much as anyone, but thought this was an oddly timed callout, seeing as how he just chased Ethereal Bligh back into exile, and jumped all over ThePinkSuperHero on Valentine's day of all days. If I wore gloves, I would have slapped him with one. Pistols at dawn!
posted by vronsky at 4:51 PM on February 15, 2007


A fine chapeau indeed.
posted by textilephile at 5:11 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're on!

EB better not be back in exile, dammit. He likes to argue as much as I do.
posted by languagehat at 5:14 PM on February 15, 2007


I'm a little bit afraid of him.
posted by loiseau at 5:20 PM on February 15, 2007


*basks in knowledge of having actually had dinner with the Hat*

*hopes to do it again one day*
posted by jokeefe at 5:21 PM on February 15, 2007


(As I recall, the hat in question was a Greek Fisherman's chapeau. The guy wearing it was pretty awesome too.

Ah, New York. )
posted by jokeefe at 5:23 PM on February 15, 2007


And to think I was mildly snarky to him just a couple of days ago. I'll never get the hang of this GroupMind thing.
posted by Sparx at 5:28 PM on February 15, 2007


If you're talking about this, while I disagree with what you say about "effete wordsmithery" I admire the style with which you say it, and I'll take stylish snark over groupthink any day.

As I recall, the hat in question was a Greek Fisherman's chapeau.


'Twas indeed, milady, and I remember the occasion fondly. We'll do it again sometime.
posted by languagehat at 5:38 PM on February 15, 2007


karl, I've never met you, but I have met and drank with the Hat, and by my personal impressions, you two would get along like a house on fire. If you ever did met, I'd just hang back, shut up and soak it in. and very few people can make me shut up.
posted by jonmc at 5:47 PM on February 15, 2007


although I admit that I kinda miss tsarfan.
posted by jonmc at 5:49 PM on February 15, 2007


actually, let me pay the Hat my highest compliment: his prose(and y2karl's and klangklangston's and OmieWise's and Divine_Wino's and It's Raining Florence Henderon's) is the level of discourse I aspire to with my scribblings. Consider yourselves muses gents. You guys humble me on a regular basis.
posted by jonmc at 5:53 PM on February 15, 2007


vronsky sez: "Pistols at dawn!"

I'd recommend broadswords in a pit.
It's more presidential.
posted by Floydd at 5:59 PM on February 15, 2007


I do not know languagehat. I've never met the man. I just try to post like him.

It is because of languagehat that I aspire to one link posts. Oh sure; I've had a ton of 40 link-plus doozys just sitting there, waiting to be unleashed on the masses. Posts that would knock your tits off and make you rethink life as you know it. But then languagehat came along and ruined everything with his clarity, his sense of humor and his humanity.

Curse you LH!



But seriously, thanks for being one of the good guys here. You are definitely one of the diamonds in a roomful of horse manure
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:29 PM on February 15, 2007


For reasons and threads which are better long forgotten, I often feel like I'm in the same trench with languagehat. He's far better at explaining why we're in the trench, whereas I'm more of the, "I'm knee-deep in rancid youtube posts, the Conservatives are launching Coulter Gas and there are rats eating the recently flamed-out corpse of a newbie. I'm going to go all Gary Cooper on the next motherfucker who slightly disagrees with me, dammit!" persuasion.

Plus I'm probably drunk.

Yeah, cult of personality threads would suck if they were the norm. But they really aren't, and as much as you love to come here to hate, c'mon admit it, you do kind a come here to love occasionally.

[NOT-IN-ANY-WAY-CARING-ABOUT-WHO-YOU-CHOOSE-TO-LOVE-IRL-ist]

posted by Cyrano at 6:47 PM on February 15, 2007


Everybody has their set, right? Of usernames who just give their hearts a slightly wicked little flutter, who are the very definition of harmless crush? I just read Juska's A Roundheeled Woman and she was able to get a healthy portion of the readership of The New York Review of Books to fall for her on the basis of a couple of well-chosen sentences: "Before I turn 67 -- next March -- I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me." What with eye candy so cheap for the consuming these days, it's good to remember the power a few good words can have.

There are a subset of people here who've written things so perfect that somewhere on the astral plane I've stopped my usual muttering and pacing and grabbed them for a hot sugary kiss, which in this world they register, if at all, as a random itch behind their ears or a brief ice cream headache. There is a further subset of those people who routinely write such things, so that simply seeing their names throws a rose between my teeth and red shoes on my feet (you never fuck up the tango on the astral plane, not ever). Then there is a yet smaller subset of people who I've not met and likely never will, but whom I would somehow trust to call if I were ever really up against it, like a can you provide me with an alibi for the evening of the 23rd kind of up against it. Dear languagehat, I adore you. And if anyone asks, last Friday we were playing a quiet game of Scrabble until nearly midnight, which I kindly allowed you to win.
posted by melissa may at 7:08 PM on February 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


I've tangled with languagehat over coffee snobbery and prescriptive grammar, and bonded with him over poetry and Japanese culture. Though we've vehemently disagreed from time to time, I have the greatest respect for his knowledge and carefully thought-out views, and his ability to maintain a high opinion of those who take differing views, even though from time to time he may singe them around the edges just a bit. His conversational abilities and reasoning skills would be the admiration of any nineteenth-century parlor society or bohemian salon. Whenever I think "MeFi is going down the tubes; there's nothing of interest there any more," an LH comment comes along to raise the level of dialogue, ruffle some collar-fur, and return vigor and intellectual challenge to the scene. I agree, it's time for a shoutout post. Thanks for being around, lh.
posted by Miko at 7:34 PM on February 15, 2007


Don't know the man so I decided to look up his profile. The fellow has some great resources in his profile. He has put serious work into it. He has his own blog. Aparently he posts here a lot. Many in this thread sing his praises. What struck me about all the work he has done is, "Wow, this man has too much time on his hands."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:49 PM on February 15, 2007


He never brags about his education, he never belittles people for their lack of same.

No, he wipes the deck with people only when they're being asshats, and often with excellent humor. The righteous terseness is why I love reading his comments.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:50 PM on February 15, 2007


Jessamyn- interesting that you brought up the Hamburgler and Nancy Reagan in the same thread. I always thought they were one in the same. Ronald (Reagan, not the fast food spokesman) reminds me of Mayor McCheese. Both were cartoon characters in elected office.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:52 PM on February 15, 2007


I still remember the one time languagehat was wrong about something. All the clocks in my house stopped working, and since that day I've had to tell time by having my toddler act as a sundial by standing in a specific place on the lawn all day. It's been terribily hard on my marriage, but punctuality is important, dammit!
posted by jonson at 8:01 PM on February 15, 2007


hear, hear, y2k. L-hat is well worthy of celebration.
posted by mwhybark at 8:02 PM on February 15, 2007


Whilst I'm more than happy to jump on the 3-cheers lanuagehat bandwagon, beyond the individual highpraising,I've come to greatly appreciate the voices in this place that are intellectually rigorous, unmoved by groupthink and unafraid of stating an honest personal opinion, attributes languagehat encourages by his continued presence. In other words, I think the wider influence of languagehat and similar others on members is probably greater than their individual contributions, so to speak. It's that raising of the general standard of discourse that I appreciate (evidence to the contrary in some threads notwithstanding).
[and languagehat's call for flameouts is not very believable - he has empathy aplenty among the fauxthorny exterior and would just as likely talk a jumper down as mock or encourage them]
posted by peacay at 8:25 PM on February 15, 2007


This thread couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

...as for the stuff about not making people feel stupid [....] I genuinely believe everybody knows lots of worthwhile stuff...

Amen, sir, I agree. Fondly I remember my callow youth (college freshman, MeFi n00b) and the seriousness with which you treated my suggestions about translating Cavafy. If that wasn't a study in the aforementioned, I don't know what is!
posted by hippugeek at 8:32 PM on February 15, 2007


Father Guido Sarducci!
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:35 PM on February 15, 2007


Pardon me the macabre observation, but if every comment in this thread ended with a variation on "...and he will be missed", it'd read as a perfectly appropriate obit thread.

Dying at this point just to make me look morbidly prophetic would be a really bad idea, lhat.
posted by cortex at 9:36 PM on February 15, 2007


B-b-but . . . he was so youthful! *sobs*
posted by cgc373 at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2007


I love languagehat! What a sweetie - everything I love in a guy - wise, funny, kind-hearted - and a feminist to boot. Thanks for shouting him out, y2karl
posted by madamjujujive at 9:52 PM on February 15, 2007


Does anyone else read his name as "langua gehat"?

didn't think so.
posted by Rumple at 10:10 PM on February 15, 2007


languagehat has such soft, soft hands.
posted by Dizzy at 10:17 PM on February 15, 2007


languagehat touched me in my swimsuit area.

And I liked it.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:23 PM on February 15, 2007


languagehat loaned me his kidney for a weekend.
I was late with it and he even waived the fee.
posted by Dizzy at 10:28 PM on February 15, 2007


**covets languagehat's bile goggles.
-they turn goons into soup!
posted by isopraxis at 10:36 PM on February 15, 2007


I got a personal email from the 'hat and it was like the highlight of my MONTH.

It was a personal email saying essentially "Um hi, don't be an asshole" but still, if I had a printer, I would have printed it out and framed it. The 'hat! He knows who I am! Omigoodness!

(And yeah, I do kind of imagine Languagehat creeping around the bushes on the side of the highway. Waiting for a flameout.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:50 PM on February 15, 2007


language removed my goiter without anesthesia and I loved it!
posted by Dizzy at 11:12 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


one time languagehat gave my dying grandmother a puppy, and the puppy somehow learned how to dial 911 when my grandmother needed an ambulance and thereby prolonged her life by 3 days.
posted by shmegegge at 2:44 AM on February 16, 2007


i'd like to say something nice about teh hat myself, but hey, i'm quonsar.
posted by quonsar at 4:26 AM on February 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


*bows*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:06 AM on February 16, 2007


What struck me about all the work he has done is, "Wow, this man has too much time on his hands."

Yeah, well, the secret is I spend time here instead of looking for clients. (If any of you happen to know a publisher who could use a long-distance copyeditor with lots o' experience in academic and medical editing, let me know who to contact and I'll shoot 'em my resume!)

Father Guido Sarducci!

One of my heroes.

languagehat loaned me his kidney for a weekend.


That wasn't my kidney, actually, it was meatbomb's, but I don't think he noticed it was missing.

i'd like to say something nice about teh hat myself, but hey, i'm quonsar.

Oh, you old softie, you haven't been quonsar in years. I love you too!
posted by languagehat at 5:11 AM on February 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Languagehat is one of the best human beings participating on MetaFilter.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:45 AM on February 16, 2007


I can't find my puppies anywhere.... I swear they were right here a minute ago.... damn.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:31 AM on February 16, 2007


The 'hat was one of the first people I linked to. Oh, and by the way...

MetaFilter: A salty sea of idiots.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:49 AM on February 16, 2007


He never brags about his education, he never belittles people for their lack of same.

Thanks for posting y2karl.
I've often thought the same on many occasions.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:55 AM on February 16, 2007


He is also a snappy dresser and quite a good dancer.

Don't get me started on his eyes and those sweet lips... the kisses... the machine gun kisses after the floodgates of passion have been broken ... then that summer... the week in Rome... getting caught in the rain... and oh how we la...

Um. Nevermind. He's a good guy alright.
posted by tkchrist at 10:36 AM on February 16, 2007


languagehat is one of the top ten reasons I visit this site too many times every day.
posted by grumblebee at 10:43 AM on February 16, 2007


I hate getting to a good thread too late. Three cheers for languagehat.

Can I start a MeTa thread comparing famous MeFi members to basketball players? Or celebrities? It's Friday.
posted by spiderwire at 10:55 AM on February 16, 2007


I once saw languagehat jumping from an airplane. His main chute did not deploy correctly, and as he was plummeting to the ground, he appeared to hesitate in opening his auxiliary chute. At the last minute he did open it, but it too failed. Fortuitously, he landed on a kitten, the cushioning effect of which apparently saved his life. He walked away with only minor bruises; but, still, he felt bad about the whole thing.
posted by found missing at 12:52 PM on February 16, 2007


And I've kept that kitten tacked to the wall ever since, as a reminder of the brevity of life and the usefulness of small mammals.

tkchrist: Dammit, you swore you'd never say a word.
posted by languagehat at 12:57 PM on February 16, 2007


tkchrist: Dammit, you swore you'd never say a word.

I know. I know.

But the MeTa thread got me thumbing through the Polaroids of you splashing in Trevi Fountain... with the cup of Kiwi gelato in one hand and the radiant Tuscan sun tan...

I know one should not stare at the sun too long... but the world had to know of our forbidden passion!
posted by tkchrist at 1:23 PM on February 16, 2007


We come here to praise languagehat, not to bury him.
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on February 16, 2007


"You're on!"


Only if I can have tkchrist as my second, because I know that as my body fell and the violet life essence spilled from the hole between my eyes and mixed with the new-fallen snow, he would whip 10 perfectly aimed ninja throwing stars at you, pinning you helplessly to a tree, approach, and pluck the still beating, coal-black shrunken heart from your chest, and show it to you just before your eyes closed forever.

(note to self - watch "Barry Lyndon" again)
posted by vronsky at 2:47 PM on February 16, 2007


I would like to say something nice about languagehat as well. I mean... really... I would like to!
posted by The Deej at 3:04 PM on February 16, 2007


Don't do it, The Deej! It'll go to his head and none of his hats will fit anymore! Praise blunts your ambitions! Speak only ill of the dead!
posted by cgc373 at 3:22 PM on February 16, 2007


.
posted by vacapinta at 3:36 PM on February 16, 2007


Heh.
posted by cortex at 4:32 PM on February 16, 2007


did you make that, cortex? that's a well-spent 5 bucks right there.

does it still cost 5 bucks?
posted by spiderwire at 4:45 PM on February 16, 2007


No, someone else's. The slightly embarrassing reason why I found it is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by cortex at 4:47 PM on February 16, 2007


Not mine either, but my wife really liked "The Behatted Wild Man of Greenfield." (The name, not the new sockpuppet.)
posted by languagehat at 5:24 PM on February 16, 2007


I'm very late to this long forgotten party, but, as a long time lurker I would like to quietly announce my respect for Languagehat, cortex, its raining... oooh and Jonmc
posted by Elmore at 5:42 PM on February 16, 2007


"It's just by the grace of time zones that it wasn't deleted instantly. But the random nonsense in these doomed threads is always enjoyable until Daddy wakes up and comes in with the flamethrower."
posted by Elmore at 6:17 PM on February 16, 2007


there's more 'respect', but no one cares, no one wants to hear, least of all LH
posted by Elmore at 6:20 PM on February 16, 2007


You seriously think this is a good MeFi post? Hey, no hard feelings, I just assumed it was such an obvious "I had pancakes for breakfast, does anybody else like pancakes?" post that nobody would defend it. If you like it, more power to you. But I did enjoy being called a nutty professor, so thanks for that! (Note: I was once, briefly, a professor, but that was long ago and in another country.) - LH
posted by Elmore at 6:21 PM on February 16, 2007


When engaging in slightly bizarre posting-history grudge digging, it's customary to at least provide links.
posted by cortex at 7:06 PM on February 16, 2007


Or you could just make yourself a ham sandwich, drink a big glass of water, take a couple of preemptive aspirin, and go to bed.
posted by ND¢ at 7:15 PM on February 16, 2007


Well, natch.
posted by cortex at 8:01 PM on February 16, 2007


oh immortal gods... a sock puppet spawned from my quip... what have I unleashed on the world... what have I unleashed... nowt good shall come of this, nowt mediocre either... just eeeevill... peeyorr eeeevillll... The Behatted Wild Man of Greenfield will feast on us all, our eyes, our spleens, our islets of langerhans...


Sometimes I wonder what future cyberarcheologists will make of all this. Also, the add as contact form needs "my unholy hellspawn" as an option.
posted by Kattullus at 8:23 PM on February 16, 2007


I think it's so cute the way LH will throw in references to his "wife" every so often. Ha! Such a transparent ploy to appear human, like someone would marry him! As if!

I tell ya... (grumble.)
posted by The Deej at 10:05 PM on February 16, 2007


I like LH's stories about how he met his wife; they give hope to the rest of us nerdy linguophile crankster nerds.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:00 PM on February 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Omit needless nerds.
posted by y2karl at 12:11 AM on February 17, 2007


When engaging in slightly bizarre posting-history grudge digging

Oh, is that what he's up to! And here I thought he was quoting examples of my vinegary prose style that he particularly admired...

*wipes tear from eye, calls on power of The Behatted Wild Man of Greenfield*
posted by languagehat at 5:15 AM on February 17, 2007


"tkchrist: Dammit, you swore you'd never say a word."

Heh - well that is what I get for not reading the previous comments. If I knew you two had a timeshare on Fire Island, I would have picked someone else.

(changes picture in brain from tkchrist as an erudite Steven Seagal, to amberglow with a black belt)
posted by vronsky at 1:44 PM on February 17, 2007


I'd like to apologise to LH for being a drunken idiot. I have a lot of respect for LH and admire him and his posting skillz. I was blotto on whisky and paracetemol - no excuse I know. I do humbly apologise, I'm skilled at being an ass even though it's something I never even trained for. Sorry.

This is not a love-in hugfest post. I will not love or hug languagehat, but stand at a distance and admire, admirably, his lingo skillz. OAO
posted by Elmore at 4:03 PM on February 17, 2007


Cortex, you too. Sorry.
posted by Elmore at 4:07 PM on February 17, 2007


I'm such a shit. I'm going to the garden to eat some worms. Long thin slimy ones, short fat fuzzy ones. Short fat fuzzy ones that stick to your teeth.
posted by Elmore at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2007


Elmore, languagehat is a big boy. He can take a little ribbing. You done right to apologize, but don't eat worms, man. Worms need to live, too!
posted by cgc373 at 4:13 PM on February 17, 2007


Hey, everybody has that morning after. Be glad you didn't go on a serious streak—there's a big gap between drunken remark and drunken posting spree, and in that far land tends the banhammer to fall.
posted by cortex at 4:15 PM on February 17, 2007


I'll take this opportunity to apologize to everyone I've blasted with my LanguageBlaster when I got het up about politics or prescriptivism

No way LH; the fact that you're the go-to guy for railing against prescriptivism is one of the reasons some of us (or me anyway) love your presence here so much. Someone has to be The Linguist here! You're like the town educator on such things, and I as a liberal arts dilettante and groupie am relieved you do it. Just like how I love monjubosatsu for being the town economist...And everyone is also spot on about how you give that expert perspective without snobbery or disdain for others. Thank you!

I too am late to this puppylovefest, but I will say one time I mentioned LH was cranky and I had a lot of old guard Mefites on my butt. Surprisingly, LH was the most civil, and even willing to actually attempt to engage me in a conversation to clarify his viewpoint. Yes, this man is indeed awesome, and us Mefites are richer for having him around. I also appreciated it when he'd pipe in in the holy-fuck-I-just-don't-know-about-graduate-school ask me threads telling his own story about the woes of academia and assuring people you can have a rich intellectual life without the shitstorm baggage and psychic terror that now comes with modern PhDs. That gave me hope, and I was so grateful.

So basically, thanks for being a real person, along with the wisdom and civility (and yes, the feminism! Oh gosh, the feminism!).
posted by ifjuly at 11:28 PM on February 17, 2007


I'd like to apologise to LH for being a drunken idiot.

Elmore, trust me, I've been a drunken idiot many, many times. I've kissed women I shouldn't have, insulted people I shouldn't have, and left too much of my pay lying on bars as I staggered out into the night. One of the nice things about being in my fifties is I don't do that any more—not that I regret it, mind you! But I got all the experience I needed in that particular direction. At any rate, no need to apologize to me, and if that's the worst thing you do in a drubken state, you're in pretty good shape.

Surprisingly, LH was the most civil

Well, hell, I am cranky, so why should I get bent out of shape at having it pointed out? I'm glad you like the descriptivist rants and grad school stories, and especially glad you like the feminism. Sometimes I think there are hardly any feminists left.
posted by languagehat at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2007


Sometimes I think there are hardly any feminists left.

Just when one thinks such thoughts....

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution —the first international survey... on view at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA March 4–July 16, 2007 — brings together the work of 119 artists from 21 countries to examine how the feminist movement fundamentally changed the way we see and understand art.

(Get on the motherfucking plane to LA.)
posted by R. Mutt at 8:20 PM on February 18, 2007


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