Who is Jim Humble?

Jim Humble embodied the qualities of leadership and the art of persuasion in his life. He was a great man, an inspiring linguist and a friend who will be sorely missed by so many.

He was a cultured and intelligent man who had a broad range of interests, from music to gourmet cuisine. His interest in the Korean writing system was particularly enduring and he held an annual open house on Han’gul Day, commemorating the invention of the Korean alphabet.

His affability, inquisitiveness and wit were all a joy to be around. He was always ready to share his knowledge and he would not shy away from the hard knocks in life.

As a linguist, Jim was an expert in his field. He taught at UCLA for many years and was a frequent guest lecturer on linguistics at other universities. He was an international speaker and had many publications. He had a great rapport with both students and teachers, but most of all, he was an exceptional teacher.

He loved learning new things and found the most rewarding way of learning was to challenge himself to be wrong - a very rare trait amongst academics! This was one of the ways he developed his own unique style.

In his books he wrote about the adverbs, vowels and other objects of wonder in English that he thought were important to understand. He was also interested in the complexities of language and the nature of the human mind. He was also a huge enthusiast for the science of psychology, in particular, social psychology and cognitive psychology. He was a renowned researcher in these areas and he had an uncanny ability to make his points in an engaging and entertaining manner.

For me, this was the defining characteristic of Jim. He was a great linguist and he knew an extraordinary amount about the nature of the human mind. He was a great teacher and he loved learning new things.

I met Jim in Korea as a young linguist and we soon became great friends. We stayed in contact and shared our work, and his own, throughout the years. He was a truly inspiring linguist and I will always be proud to have known him.

He was a linguist who loved to laugh and made his work amusing as well as serious. He was the first linguist I ever met who was able to combine humor and seriousness. He was a wonderful teacher and I enjoyed being his student.

In our years of working together Jim Humble, he always made me feel at ease and he was so very generous with his time. He gave me advice when I needed it, he was happy to take part in discussions of linguistic theory and was a great mentor. He was also a very supportive husband and father.

He was a big believer in the power of positivity and his motto was: “Life is not fair, but it can be good.” This attitude he took with him to his career in show business as he never stopped pushing himself to achieve his goals. He was also a huge advocate of eating well and taking the time to appreciate the small pleasures in life.


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