There was a piece of fake news early this week announcing Noam Chomsky’s death. Actually, the famed linguist and activist, 95, was hospitalized in Brazil some time ago, recovering from a stroke, and is now at home, said his wife Valeria Vasserman Chomsky.

Way back in 1970, I spent a month in Cambridge, UK, and happened to attend a lecture he gave at the University. I don’t remember much about its content, but I do remember his casual, nonchalant style. He sat on his desk, wearing a shirt, no tie, and spoke –not as a scholar but in an easy-going manner, reaching out to his attentive audience. He was already well known at that time and had published several books on linguistics. Therefore, he could have showed off and  boasted about his accomplishments and fame. But he didn’t. Far from it. I loved his attitude. There are far too many blowhards and windbags already… Glad you’re still alive, Mr Chomsky!

Buenos Aires Times, June 22, 2024