I have occasionally made offhand remarks indicating my dislike for Noam Chomsky’s linguistic theories and, still worse, his effect on the field, but I have not had the heart to go into detail; I’m worn out from all the arguing I did about him back when I was an actual linguist (now, I just play one on the internet). Fortunately, my procrastination has paid off (as it so often does), and Scott Martens has done the job for me. I direct anyone who wants to know exactly how wrong and destructive Chomsky has been to go forthwith to Pedantry and scroll down to “Friday, July 25, 2003: My carefully considered and well earned aversion to Noam Chomsky” (I won’t even try to provide a permalink, Blogger being what it is). Quick summary: “His principles ultimately produced nothing, and may well have set linguistics back decades. The day will come when his legacy is compared to Skinner’s, and when historians of the social sciences will debate which one ultimately caused the most damage.” But there’s much, much more.
Addendum. Scott expands on the subject in the comments to this entry.
A caveat: after sixteen paragraphs, you will reach the sentence “There was some more stuff I was going to say about Cambodia.” You can stop there, unless you’re particularly interested in the still-simmering argument over exactly what Uncle Noam said about the Khmer Rouge 25 years ago and whether it was justified given what was known at the time. As Scott says, “There’s something about that country that seems to drive its students mad.”