[techtalk] This talk of N-ary trees and other things...

Elizabeth Wright wrightea at muohio.edu
Sun Mar 25 14:42:13 EST 2001

>Rick: the classic example we were always given when I studied languages on
>how language colors your thinking is the difference in perceived
>responsibility between the English phrase of "I missed the plane" and the
>translation of the normal Spanish version "The plane left me".  There's a
>whole unspoken assumption there that assumes that Anglo-Saxon culture is
>more aggressive than Hispanic culture and this explains it.  I'm not
>entirely sure that the syllogism holds water, but it's still interesting.

I always liked the difference between "I dropped the book" and "the book
fell away from me", also a Spanish wording.  Or "the keys left themselves in
my car" instead of I left my keys in the car."  languages are fun.

>Philosophically, I'm still trying to figure out why Hebrew has no ways to
>cuss while Arabic is considered possibly the best language in the world for
>it, given their proximity....from a historical standpoint, I suspect that
>it's related to Hebrew being effectively a dead language artificially

It could also be that the Hebrew (Jewish) God was/is very strict about the
kinds of language His people were/are to use, and cussing wasn't one of
them.  As the Hebrew people followed him throughout the development of their
language, curses as we think of them were never developed.  Indeed - they
have learned their profanity from other nations as they follow their God
less and less.

Just a thought =]

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