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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Your article on my resignation contains some quite inaccurate statements which were falsely attributed to me in quotation marks. First, I will not be a full professor at Michigan, but an associate professor. Second, I did not say that I was the only faculty member involved in doing transformational grammar; in fact, I took pains to point out to your reporter that there were others in the department doing work in this area, and that he should discuss the matter with them. Finally, I mentioned to your reporter that the department does feel it has a commitment to the teaching of transformational grammar and that it is making an effort to find a replacement for me. I think the report on the whole was unfair to the department.

Most junior faculty members eventually leave Harvard to accept better offers elsewhere. I'm not sure why one such departure should be considered newsworthy.

In addition, your quotes from students were set up in such a way as to indicate that they were made by graduate students working with me. On checking with the CRIMSON. I found that neither of the statements were made by my graduate students; they were the opinions of other students in the department. Moreover, the statements were inserted in such a way as to indicate that I agreed with them. I do not. One of the quotes was inflammatory and sounded as though my leaving were due to departmental malice. This is not the case. As I told your reporter, the department treated me as fairly as it could, and even attempted to get me a telephone and to work out a full-time teaching appointment for me with other departments. Given its priorities, the extremely peculiar budgetary constraints placed on it, and the financial situation of GSAS, it simply could not have come close to matching other offers I received. George P. Lakoff   Lecturer in Linguistics

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