An assessment of the Unicode standard

Hendrik van Rooyen hendrik at microcorp.co.za
Sat Sep 19 14:38:03 CEST 2009


On Saturday 19 September 2009 09:12:34 greg wrote:

>  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).

Yikes!  If I follow you, it is a bit like having a hollow dumb-bell with a 
hollow handle of zero length, and wanting a word for that opening between the 
knobs.  I do not think that you are likely to find a word in *any* language 
for that - I would posit that it is too seldom encountered to deserve one.

What does a concave polyhedrum look like?  *weg*

>
> 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. :-)

That is probably true, but on the other hand, it is not totally rubbish 
either, as it is hard to think of stuff you have never heard of, whether you 
have an undefined word for it or not.

- Hendrik




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