I have been listening to some rants on YouTube against people learning a bunch of languages calling themselves "linguists".
I'm personally interested in both linguistics and languages as a hobby but I have no official training and certainly no qualifications in either.
My instinct was that the ranter was kind of right in his opinion that people who speak many languages are not linguists. But I was uncomfortable with his opinion that you had to have certain pieces of paper to be called a linguist, I think "post doctorate" from memory.
So I looked up "linguist" in some imperfect online dictionaries and was surprised to find both senses. Here's the defs from
oxforddictionaries.com (chosen at random):
- A person skilled in foreign languages.
- A person who studies linguistics.
Now I don't have access to a better dictionary on historical principles from my current location.
I would like to know which of these senses is the original one?
My original opinion was the latter sense but on thinking about it I now expect it to be the former. I doubt the word would be a back-formation from "linguistics".
As a side question, would the first sense now be considered to be colloquial or at least nontechnical or outdated?