An assessment of the Unicode standard

greg greg at cosc.canterbury.ac.nz
Sat Sep 19 09:12:34 CEST 2009


Hendrik van Rooyen wrote:
> there would be no way for a language to change  
> and grow, if it were literally true that you cannot think of something  that 
> you have no word for.

 From my own experience, I know that it's possible for me to
think about things that I don't have a word for. An example
occured once when I was developing a 3D game engine, and
I was trying to think of a name for the thing that exists
where two convex polyhedra share a face, except that the
face is missing (it's hard to explain even using multiple
words).

I couldn't think of any word that fully expressed the precise
concept I had in mind. Yet I was clearly capable of thinking
about it, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed that I was missing
a word!

So in my humble opinion, the strong form of the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis is bunk. :-)

-- 
Greg



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