By Jenny Macler ’23
A new club has been introduced into the FGS community: linguistics. In Linguistics, a large umbrella of topics is covered, including the structure of languages, how it is used, and its function in our society. While The Frederick Gunn School offers customary languages in our academic schedule, such as Spanish, French, and Mandarin, the founder, Bridie Strowe’s intent is to create a non-academic space for people to appreciate languages for what they are, what they can do, and how they can bring our community together.
In their first meeting, on January 11, 2023, there were four languages spoken in fluency and three others non-fluently. The members spent time looking at the language tree and studying words of similar origin between their languages. They then played a language game in which each person went around saying a word in their own language that sounded similar to the word said before them from a different language. The words were then compared in their origins and meanings.
The club is still in planning, but they hope, in addition to simply enjoying the mere beauty of language, to share their knowledge with the broader school community. Bridie, in her time traveling through Europe, grew an interest in how humans have created different words for the same meaning and she believes that we can take advantage of the many languages spoken within the FGS community in order to better understand this concept.
According to Bridie, “People all over campus speak so many different cool languages” and “we don’t get a ton of non-academic opportunities to share them”. In a more relaxed environment, she hopes that students will be able to share their languages or come and learn about the languages of others.
The club is not limited to the regular day to day languages however, but it also extends to fictional languages, such as those spoken in Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, the Dune series, or those created by the members themselves. The members hope that this club will enable people to come together, share their own knowledge, and learn from others.