"I'm always amazed by those people who get up at 5 and write till 8
and then eat a peach and walk their canary and write two hours more
and then are free to collect firewood for the rest of the afternoon."
[Richard Greenberg, New York Times 03/26/06]
amtessier at ualberta dot ca
If you know nothing about linguistics, and yet you have ended up at this page, you seem rather committed to augmenting your zero knowledge, so I might suggest you peruse this UCLA textbook and/or this Canadian one which also has a University of Alberta customized version, and maybe check out this famous pop linguistic book by Steven Pinker and/or this great intro to speech sounds by Peter Ladefoged which has a supplemental website where you can hear all the sounds and do exercises and you could also try this history of linguistic debates in the second half of the 20th century and I would also suggest you start following this linguistics blog for experts and non-experts alike. Also, the Linguistic Society of America has a page of Non-technical overview of many linguistic subdisciplines, from which I particularly recommend the meaning and grammar pages.
I don't vouch for everything in any of those resources, mind you: linguists don't tend to always agree with other linguists about things like, say, what linguistics is, so at least something in each one of those links probably makes me hopping mad, and same for most other linguists, but of course we will be hopping about different things.
If you are a linguistics grad student, you might want to look at my page of links for linguistics grad students which I compiled with lots of people's help for a regular course at UofA, but parts of which could help others too.
If you are already a linguist, well, if you have been to the internet, you will know that there are already a lot of places online to learn about linguistics and linguists, so I am hardly going to give you a compendium. I would, however, like to point you to:
* McSweeney's compelling quiz in which you attempt to distinguish between IPA phonetic symbols and figure skating moves
* Daniel Currie Hall's interactive phonetics potato head, for teaching your students and whiling away office hours.
* Two great language generators: Boing Boing's New York Times Torture Euphemism Generator, and the Chomskybot.
* Geoff Pullum's typically smackdowny pushback commentary on the 50th anniversary of stupid grammar advice aka the publication of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style
* That structured procrastination essay which if you have never read, you maybe should go get distracted with now...
* And finally something which has nothing to do with linguistics at all, but is somehow forwarded to me about once a month, so I guess it has something all too real to say about why I (and many of us) will never be adults