Laurie Zaring, Luther College associate professor of linguistics and French, will present the spring Paideia Texts and Issues Lecture "Beauty is in the Ear of the Listener" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther campus.
"Beauty is in the Ear of the Listener" will focus on the common attitudes towards language use. Far too often, we judge others for their use of "bad language," such as speaking with a strong accent or bringing words like "ain't" into the conversation, and this causes us to judge such speakers negatively. At their worst, these judgments form a type of linguistic profiling.
In her lecture, Zaring will speak about the situations in which we profile others for their language, the situations in which we may find ourselves profiled by others and how we can overcome these judgments and learn to listen intelligently.
A reception will follow the lecture in Qualley Lounge in the Center for Faith and Life.
Both the lecture and the reception are open to the public with no charge for admission.
Zaring has been teaching linguistics and French at Luther since 2006. She has also been on the faculty at Indiana University, Carleton College, Macalester College, Reed College and Ohio Wesleyan University.
An enthusiast of all things linguistic, Zaring's interests include syntactic theory, language change and language variation.
One of the courses Zaring teaches at Luther, "The English Language(s)," examines the origins of myths about and attitudes towards the English language.
Zaring holds a master's degree in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctoral degree in linguistics at Cornell University.