Hello, my name is Dr. Greg Bowen, and I’m joining the English department faculty this year, teaching linguistics. If I were to describe myself in three words, they’d be whelming, chalant, and corrigible. Occasionally I’m even shevelled and kempt.
I’ve always had a love of language. In elementary school, classmates sometimes asked me whether I read the dictionary. I decided I’d better give it a try, and brought one along to read on the bus ride to school. I discovered something that day. I learned that reading the dictionary is really boring.
A brief glance through the margins of my high school and college notebooks would reveal my love of castles and medieval arms and armor. It was no great surprise to my parents when I chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in history. I still rubbed shoulders with English majors, though, working as a tutor in the Westminster College Writing Center. There my black sense of humor, combined with an outwardly mild-mannered demeanor, earned me an award for “most upstandingly perverse.”
With some spare credits, I took a course my senior year on the history and structure of the English language. It was the most fun I’d ever had in a classroom, and I knew then what I’d be doing with the rest of my life.
I studied linguistics at Indiana’s Purdue University, combining my passions for history and language by specializing in historical linguistics. I explored the intricacies of address pronoun selection in Arthurian tales from the 15th century, and the lingering influence of the King James Bible on religious writing styles in 19th century America. I also had a blast teaching introductory linguistics classes, hoping to give others a first exposure to the field as exciting as mine had been.
When I’m not working, I enjoy playing video games, hiking, watching Netflix, and singing, preferably in small ensembles. As a tenor in the Westminster College Chamber Singers, I had the opportunity to sing in Carnegie Hall (under the direction of John Rutter), in cathedrals across France and Spain, and in Beijing’s Forbidden City. I also met a lovely young alto and somehow convinced her to marry me. My wife Anna and I now have two little boys: David, age 6 (who loves dominoes), and Tristan, age 3 (who loves cats).
My family and I are excited to be starting our new life in Pennsylvania, and I’m looking forward to sharing my love of language, and all its exquisite weirdness, with the excellent students of Millersville University.