An assessment of the Unicode standard
Hendrik van Rooyen
hendrik at microcorp.co.za
Wed Sep 16 12:46:27 CEST 2009
On Tuesday 15 September 2009 19:04:10 r wrote:
> On Sep 15, 4:12 am, Hendrik van Rooyen <hend... at microcorp.co.za>
> > When a language lacks a word for a concept like "window", then (I
> > believe :-) ), it kind of puts a crimp in the style of thinking that a
> > person will do, growing up with only that language.
> Are you telling us people using a language that does not have a word
> for window somehow cannot comprehend what a window is, are you mad
> man? Words are simply text attributes attached to objects. the text
> attribute doesn't change the object in any way. just think of is
No - All I am asserting, is the unfashionable view that your first language
forms the way you think. It goes deeper than the simple vocabulary problem
you are describing, even though that is serious enough. I still assert that
if your language does not have a word for something, and you have never seen
that object, then you "__cannot__" think about it, because you do not have
the tools in your kitbag that you need to do so. - no word, no concept, the
And I would even assert that, when you meet the object, and acquire a word for
it, it is painful for you to think about it, because it is a new thing for
you. You then have to go through a painful process of integrating that new
thing into your world view, before you are able to use and reference it
easily. - did, for instance, the concept of "an abstract class" just jump
into your head, and stick there immediately, complete with all its
ramifications, in the minute immediately after hearing about it for the first
time? Or did you need a bit of time to understand it and get comfortable?
And were you able to, and did you, think about it "before" hearing of it?
If you answer those questions honestly, you will catch my drift.
The opposite thing is of course a continual source of trouble - we all have
words for stuff we have never seen,
like "dragon", "ghost", "goblin", "leprechaun", "the current King of
France", "God", "Allah", "The Holy Trinity", "Lucifer", "Satan", "Griffin" -
and because we have words for these things, we can, and unfortunately do,
think about them, in a fuzzy fashion, to our own detriment. People even go
around killing other people, based on such fuzzy thinking about stuff that
can not be shown to exist.
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