I’ve just got back from the harrowing experience of spending a whole day as an arts/humanities minority in a roomful of chemists and biologists. The amount of misunderstanding with which linguistics is viewed by Those Sorts of People is quite astonishing, and I’m not even part of the linguistics camp that thinks that generative grammar has any obvious right to be considered a science. Quote of the day: “That’s what science is all about after all, defending your position with arguments, I don’t know what it’s like for the non-scientists but as a scientist you really need to have evidence …” Funny, because even generative grammarians have been observed to make arguments in the past, and some phoneticians have on occasion actually gone so far as to measure things. And even draw graphs. Honestly, there are times when the desperation to be inclusive really outweighs any possible benefits and just becomes downright patronising.