Sunday, 21 October 2012

Maximal destruct of pairing

I get occasional spam comments on my post about spam comments. I got this one today:

I'm glad to know that Mary is in position to support me with the maximal destruct of pairing in essay penning. But I really think she should employ a good exclusive educator writer to impact on her own naming.


  1. Hi Laura,

    I came across your blog through a Google search on SCAN analysis and forensic linguistics. I am currently working toward my master's in forensic linguistics with plans to continue to on to a PhD, though likely in Philosophy of Linguistics (as of yet, I'm slightly undecided). I was wondering if you're familiar with SCAN analysis, developed by Avinoam Sapir?

    While I enjoy the rigorous study behind linguistics and forensic linguistics, I am completely disillusioned with the very un-scientific methods employed in SCAN (also known as Statement Analysis ((SA)) which now, anyone with $500-600 can take an e-course in and become certified. I am interested in learning the opinions of others educated in the field of linguistics as to their take on SA, specifically the SCAN method (which is the form of SA I'm referring to below).

    I feel Statement Analysis as based on SCAN severely and negatively impacts the more learned field of forensic linguistics. (So much so that it angers me far more than it probably should but I take umbrage to this mess calling itself 'science'). It is touted by believers and adherents as the 'sure way' to know something yet it (conveniently) is rarely ever faced with proof. The lack of facing proof makes it really easy to claim "See, Statement Analysis shows us that John Doe is guilty and did in fact, commit crimes a-z against his wife" which is awfully convenient in say, missing persons case where no further truly reliable proof ever surfaces toward their claims.

    It is the charlatan's science, in my opinion, as it can have less accuracy than someone guessing a perpetually flipping coin while operating on what it claims are scientific proofs of 'guilty language'. SA claims these proofs do not alter from person to person, regardless of their gender, age, or native language (though it does allow for internal lexicons). It wants people to believe that in our 'free editing' process of speech, our brains operate so quickly as to show our guilt, no matter how hard we try to hide it. Upon closer examination, you'll see that what 'guilt' SA allegedly shows is broad and far-reaching, covering everything from a lie told over a similar subject/situation when the person was 5 to actually really being guilty of the crime they are charged with.


  2. For some examples that will make you do a double take that any individual could wholeheartedly lap this stuff up, check out the blog linked below. Even a simple knowledge of how people execute language will show how wildly ludicrous many of the claims are. To its credit, it does at least keep the same general formula for determining guilt or innocence. Maddeningly, if you press adherents and those who practice it, they cop out with excuses usually reserved for psychics and charlatans. For example, they will post-qualify analysis where they are proven wrong with the statement "Well, his statement indicated guilt and tension. Likely there was an argument before her death and in his statement of denial and innocence, his guilt over the argument shined through. He turned out not to be guilty of murder and the crimes he was charged with but it doesn't mean his statement isn't evidence of guilt of something else." SA also won't provide a sound claim/theory as to what the man was showing guilt over. It allows for such broad-sweeping statements as "The statement given by the accused showed tension and trouble in the relationship. Likely they were having arguments/had arguments" and rests in brazen austerity on its soundness.

    Statement analysis then rests its case that it was still right in some aspect, though it presents no proof (beyond its claims) and uses such a case as proof for determining the guilt or innocence of the next John Doe.

    I look forward to delving into your blog. At the moment, I am begging off necessary academic work but stumbling upon your blog proved too tempting to not ask for feedback on SA/SCAN.


    (Here is the blog I'm referring to: )

  3. Hi Jenna,

    I don't know anything about forensic linguistics or statement analysis I'm afraid, but I do agree that that blog you link to is most definitely not science. It reads like the worst kind of internet pseudo-science which gullible people will believe, and unfortunately they may well be right about the outcome in many cases but for the wrong reasons.


  4. Actual studies show that people who claim to be able to detect lying are slightly worse at it than people who don't make such claims, perhaps a variant of illusory superiority.