Professor Donald Foster
Just want to repost his quote - "No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar."
Donald Foster - June, 2002
Alan Perlman says:
February 9, 2004 at 5:57 pm

I’m a forensic linguist (PhD, University of Chicago). I do both copyright and authorship work, and I’ve had quite a few interesting cases. I’ll probably be going to LA later this month to testify.
I agree that Don Foster is not the real thing. He draws all kinds of indirect literary parallels on the basis of puns, allusions, subconscious references, and other matters that real linguists do not deal with. He psychloigizes about his subjects.
As Professor McMenamin has pointed out, he becomes fascinated with his own media glory (whereas in reality he’s a classic case of being in the right place at the right time, with his timely identification a new Shakespearean sonnet right at the time when people were wondering about the author of “Primary Colors”); he vacillates wiith circumstances(instead of gathering data to confirm or support a hypothesis); he gets the linguistics wrong, and, worst of all, he takes credit for inventing a field that is hundreds of years old and had already been used in many legal cases.
Forensic linguistics, correctly practiced, is part art and part science. As Rogey Shuy has pointed out, it is good linguistics practiced within a legal context. What I report to my clients is not literary or abstruse. It involves specific linguistic data and my impartial evaluation of them.
Best regards to all…and comments welcome.

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