Proponents of freedom of speech and thought on both the right and left have recently kicked up a fuss about how their conversations, online communications, etc are being tracked and stored by linguists.
According to Marvin Hassler of human rights organization Freedom to Speaking, “We understand the need of linguists to do some limited monitoring of people who really are threats to the English language, but that is no excuse for the wholesale monitoring and storage of youthspeak, English as a Lingua Franca, alternative uses of the apostrophe, etc. We are shocked and disgusted by the recent revelation of the whistleblowing linguist Edmund BenNevis, which seem incontrovertible proof of linguists listening to people’s conversations in buses, analyzing slang use on Mumsnet, photographing street signs, cutting out small ads from local newspapers, etc. They have even been known to gather language data from their own friends and family, for example secretly scribbling down snippets of conversation at the breakfast table. We shudder to think of what other lengths these language zealots may have gone to.”
Daily protests outside organisations guilty of language-related data gathering such as the British Association of Applied Linguists are expected to continue until at least the new year.