When I think of “linguistics”, I typically think of the study of spoken languages, particularly phonetics. Compared to “language”, which of course is used of writing systems, it carries to me a stronger association to the original literal meaning of “lingua” being “the tongue”.
Wikipedia’s article on linguistics speaks mainly of language concepts in the abstract: things that apply equally to written and spoken language. It has a small section comparing writing to speech, which says:
Most contemporary linguists work under the assumption that spoken (or signed) language is more fundamental than written language. […] Nonetheless, linguists agree that the study of written language can be worthwhile and valuable.
So consider a hypothetical person; let’s call him “Jim”. Jim can read and understand Ancient Greek texts, and he is an expert translator. Jim may not know the IPA, and he may not even be able to pronounce Ancient Greek words all that well, but he’s definitely the guy you call when you have a piece of written Ancient Greek that you need made readable by Americans.
Can Jim properly be called a “linguist”? Specifically, will other linguists scoff at the idea of a mere translator being called a “linguist”? Or does being a translator by definition make you a type of honest-to-goodness linguist?