I imagine there are few LH readers who remember the posts from the early days in which I linked to the wonderful travel blog the mysterious pf kept during his wanderings in Russia (a blog, alas, which has long disappeared from human ken — I mourn it frequently). Well, pf has come out into the open as Patrick Findler, an academic editor specializing in the work of non-native English speakers, and he’s published a fine piece in Catapult drawing on the experiences he wrote about all those years ago (in fact, one section is based on the mugging recounted in this dramatic LH post from February 2004). In case anyone’s concerned about topic relevance, I’ll quote a couple of language-related bits:
Next, the wide man from the North Caucasus, with a thick moustache like a sausage who, sitting behind me, had explained over my shoulder to the other passengers about his home, where a language was spoken that he shared with only six thousand others.
[. . .]
There was a book of the Yukaghir language, which has only a few hundred speakers.
I hope he publishes much more; he has a fine style and knows how to keep the reader interested.