Campus Profile: Brody McCurdy

Name: Broderick McCurdy A.K.A Brody

From: Sarasota, Fl.

Catchphrase: “Oh my gosh”

Favorite food: Chicken and dumplings from Cracker Barrel

Current Languages Known or Being Studied: Arabic, Hawaiian, Haitian Creole, French, and many, many more.

Siblings: Four sisters

Major: Linguistics through the CIS

Involvement on Campus: Catholic Campus Ministry, Muslim Student Association

Brody McCurdy. Where do I begin? Brody is one of those people that if you don’t know him, you wish you did. I don’t think I’ve passed a day where I see Brody visibly in a bad mood. You might see him walking around campus with an airy positivity and a wide-eyed smile. You can usually find Brody stationed on the second floor of the Library in his “office” pouring over some language instructional books or prodding former HerCampus celebrity Maura Tangum to write her research papers. He’ll lend a hand or an hour out of his very, very packed schedule, to just about anyone who needs it.

Every time I bring up Brody’s name to someone, I get a new story about him. Whether it’s about the radio show he started with an elderly woman named Laverne, or a dead language he picked up the other day, Brody doesn't fail to be a never ending ball of surprises and niches. Check out our Q and A below to find out more about him!

Tell me about how you first got interested in languages:

“Hawaiian and French were the first languages I fell in love with. We went to Club Med one time. There’s one in Florida and my mom used to work there. And she was like “oh my gosh let’s go”  and there were a lot of French people there. I was like “oh my gosh” it’s the prettiest language I’ve ever heard. And I thought it would be cool if I could translate French if any French people ever came to my school That was the big dream. Then I found Hawaiian randomly through a project at school. We had to do a project on a good person or an evil person. I did mine on Father Damien, and he did work in the leper colonies in Hawaii. I thought it would be cool to introduce myself in Hawaiian and I found out Hawaiian was a language. I discovered that Hawaiian was experiencing a revival. I’d like to study abroad there and study Hawaiian with the immersion programs they have there. Other languages, are French, Haitian creole, *sighs*, I do love Haitian creole.”

You made up a language, didn’t you?

“I did make up my own language. I’m really interested in the grammar of other languages. Mine is called Thombo. It’s sort of a mix-match of the different languages I’ve studied. I have the grammar of it, it’s seven pages.”

Do you have a specific idol in linguistics that you look up to?

“Yes, J.R.R Tolkien. He’s such a cool dude. He’s quoted to have said that he made his stories around his languages. He made about like 14 languages with written scripts that he made for them. I just loved that. It is sort of what I did as a kid, making different alphabets. Some of his were character based, sometimes they’re more like stressed based and they have different kinds of styles. He was just super creative. He’s just a cool dude.”

Favorite Book:

“A lot of times I’ll just pick up a language instructional book and that’ll be like what I do in my free time. A lot of stuff like linguistic books. Like, Stephen Pinker has a lot of interesting books on grammar. He speaks my language if you know what I mean” (Great pun there Brody).

What is the next language you’d like to learn?

“I’d love to learn Chinese... you know what? actually Japanese. I’m part Japanese and I’d like to connect with my background. My grandma never got to teach my dad or my uncle. People weren’t big fans of the Japanese back in the day so she never taught them. But I’d love to reconnect with my family in Japan.”

Do you have like a favorite “grammar”?

“Turkish has a very interesting grammar. One of the things they have is vowel harmonization, or harmony. They build by suffixes, and they build on the last vowel of the preceding words which makes it sound really pretty.”

I know that you like to jump into things. Can you give us an example/wise sage life advice for tackling the world?

“I really love the show The Middle, have you seen it? There’s this character on it named Sue Heck. She’s very optimistic. But she’ll go for things even if she isn’t good at it. She usually doesn’t make it. I’ll try out for things and not make it, but I just keep trying. You know I think there are a lot of good lessons in dancing. At formals and stuff, I dance like crazy. If people think you know what you’re doing, they think you know what you’re doing. You just got to go for it.”