Friday, September 23, 2005

Football Match Broadcast in Navajo and background stupidity

See previous posts - Pullum and crew keep me going. Check out this wonderful marvel of Internet glory.
The post linked to above makes the economic point perfectly. Navajo is perfectly capable of describing an 'alien' concept, albeit at some length. If the description needs to be repeated frequently, the lengthiness becomes a cost and the language will develop. Jargon and dialects will develop to lower the cost of what needs regular expression.
The language does not remotely determine the world around it. It adapts to the world it develops in.
Why has this been so hard for people of some apparent intelligence to get for so long?
I am a reformed mathematician - mathematics is perhaps the ultimate example of seeing conciseness and efficiency develop to express what it is worthwhile to express well, where once only complex circumlocution was available.
And I know I do it in my everyday English as well. Cool!


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