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It looks to me like they're about the same size. They appear to be split mostly by how people found them. This group, while slightly larger, has a name that violates the "Don't make me think" principle. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Make_Me_Think)
Anyway, I posted something about American Indian languages there. I never thought to post it here too. I should have. Indeed, I should be a member of this group too. But I'm not, because of the redundant group problem...
And the name of it will catch the eye of anyone who knows any (historical) linguistics. Sort of like having the Harry Potter group called 'Hogwart's Express'.
I hear you, but isn't the presence of two such groups--with debate split--proof that it's not working? Social phenomena are commonly said to be valuable by the square of their participants—so splitting a group into two does great damage.
I don't think the topics people post support this very well. I suppose there's a slight difference created by using a term of art from English historical linguistics. We could accomplish the same effect by creating an alternative to the Ancient History group by calling it "meta de tauta" or "ktema es aiei."
So by that logic, we should get rid of groups entirely and turn Talk into one big free-for-all? ;)
I agree with fleela that the Don't Make Me Think principle is sad. Have you considered that people might come to LT because they want to think? Even suggestions for improved navigation (like a search box on every page) are frequently met with protests about "dumbing it down".
Thinking is for content. The labeling of content should not require thinking. (#8)
But what about searching for content? How do you actually find what you're looking for in talk search without being superhumanly clever?
I'd like to point out that the most active language group is far smaller than either of these and has an arguably more obscure name. This is because there's more to what constitutes a successful group than "Does it have a lot of members and a blindingly obvious name?". Social forces are more subtle than that.
I really hope you don't now go to that third group and complain that it's redundant and badly-named.
Be that as it may, although I am a member of both groups, I see the difference that #6: ambushedbyasnail saw; "I think, after a brief perusal of the Languages group, that this group focuses more on linguistics, where that one's concerned with aspects of specific foreign languages".
What group is that?
If the groups actually followed the descriptions, I'd only be a member of this one. However, actual topics in this group stray incredibly far from the description. It seems have become an outlet for nitpickers and would-be mavens.
Also, I too love the group name. I don't even feel like that needs to be justified.
A bold statement considering you were so fond of "You and no other". Even "Vous et nul autre" (as it is now) makes people think.
so I remember what I'm replying to, more or less,
I guess I'm going to have to look for this other group, because I'm interested in more than one language, but the name of this one caught my eye because I'm a philologist, which is not exactly the same as a linguist, which in turn has more than one usage. . . WHAT run-on sentence? I DID rather lose track of where I intended to go with that. 8-)
I enjoy discussions of linguistic concerns, but not necessarily just English ones.
So if the idea is to catch the attention also of linguistically inclined people who did *not* take English linguistics at university, it's a bad name.
As well as those people who know of the concept from 'doing a course', it surely also attracts those who are just broadly educated, whether formally or informally. As a science major, most of my broader education needed to be self-started, and although it may well be patchy and error-prone as a result, it has been undertaken for pleasure rather than obligation. I suspect I'm not alone in this, in this group.
Factors such as this have ensured a refreshingly higher level of literacy here than most other groups in LT.
A language group isn't where I'd go for that. I come here with questions about the English language, or questions about language structures in relation to English.
The people in this group know their stuff and are an invaluable resource to me. I wouldn't want it clogged up by people who didn't know what the Great Vowel Shift was.
Yeah, Clifford's right, it's elitism. But it works!