Language

21st Demon Lord

Active Member
Also goes down the throat quite smoothly, I prefer Absinth though.

For some reason I always go to Wormwood from Absinth, interesting how word associations work.
 

hackenslash

Well-Known Member
I wish I had a favourite word, but I can't, because all the other words would feel bad, and they'd think I didn't love them all.
 
One of the reasons people like me get so aggressive in dealing with bullshit is precisely that. The bullshit we encounter daily has absolutely no requirement to be true, but any counter to it must be, and even that requires research. Frankly, if it weren't for people like Sparhafoc, AronRa, Potholer54, Nesslig, Calilasseia, and many, many others, they wouldn't ever get countered, precisely because of how hard and demanding real, factually accurate research is, compared to simply extracting some assertion directly from the rectal sphincter and presenting it as Earth-shattering wisdom.

One of the attractions of conspiracy theories for many is the sheer weight of evidence they're presented with when first encountering it, because everybody's citing the same set of facts, and all agreeing with each other. Those debunking them are always behind, and each debunker has a different approach, meaning they're raising different objections to the material presented.
An old gaming buddy of mine is a editor for The Washington Post, who is also an Atheist by the way. We had a conversation about fake news last year where he said basically the same thing you have said here about conspiracy theories. But he also pointed out the increased amount of "fake news stories" which are easily proven false or actually prove themselves false within a few days or so. But by then the damage is already done, so to speak. As if they were just designed to sway public opinion a few hours in a certain way for some unknown reason. Kinda creepy.
 
Someone once told me that the German language is particularly useful to engineers because what things are called in German often tell you what the thing does..
 

hackenslash

Well-Known Member
Someone once told me that the German language is particularly useful to engineers because what things are called in German often tell you what the thing does..
The way German is constructed is certainly useful to that. It's essentially constructed by construction.

For example, the German word for 'nipple' is 'brustwarze' which in translates directly back into English as 'breast wart'. All German words are of this nature. If you need a new word, you can just construct it out of pieces and it's always fairly clear what the new word means because of this underlying construction.

That's why what things are called literally tell you what it is. It's incredibly powerful. It does make form some preposterously long words.

It's worth noting that a huge portion of English is rooted in German. There's a lot of Latin in it because of the Norman influence, but Old English is basically the progeny of Old German, later evolved into English with the influence of Latin and Greek.

And this is the power of English. Because it's such a mishmash of different languages, it accepts loan words without skipping a beat from any language.
 

21st Demon Lord

Active Member
Llanfairpwllgwyngyll or Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll (pronounced [ɬanˌvair puɬˈɡwɨ̞nɡɨ̞ɬ]) is a large village and local government community on the island of Anglesey, Wales, on the Menai Strait next to the Britannia Bridge and across the strait from Bangor. Both shortened (Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG) and lengthened (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch) forms of the placename are used in various contexts (with the longer form pronounced [ˌɬanvairpʊɬˌɡwɨ̞ŋɡɨ̞ɬɡɔˌɡɛrəˌχwərnˌdrɔbʊɬˌɬantəˌsɪljɔˌɡɔɡɔˈɡoːχ]
 

mechtheist

New Member
Greetings,



Kindest regards,

James
That's a lot of moist, but after so much moist, wouldn't it get wet at some point?

Hello, this might be my first post here, can't remember.
I felt compelled to post because this is one of my favorite topics and I saw that Hack was involved, hey Hack, howzit going?

I can usually get a lot of pushback with this. So is 'howzit' proper English? Trick question, 'proper English' doesn't really exist, there are way too many Englishes, you have to be more specific before you can even think about something being proper. Most newspapers and magazines [what are those?] have style manuals to deal with the issue.
I'd bet more than a few of you interested in this topic have read some of David Crystal's books, he's wonderful. If you're unfamiliar, I'd recommend The Stories of English, really fascinating.

Something to ponder:
Do airplanes fly? Seems kinda silly, of course they do, right? OK, then, do submarines swim? Hmmmm. It's something Chomsky uses when he's talking about the uselessness of the Turing Test.
 

hackenslash

Well-Known Member
Do airplanes fly? Seems kinda silly, of course they do, right? OK, then, do submarines swim? Hmmmm. It's something Chomsky uses when he's talking about the uselessness of the Turing Test.
This covers something I've talked about an awful lot on the blog, because it's such a problem with how we think about things that it leads to all sorts of issues of comprehension; the pitfalls of natural language. Natural language is such a source of wooliness that it becomes incredibly difficult to parse meaning in some contexts. I've always suspected that's one of the reasons escalations in online discussion are so easy because, absent other indicators, words can be really poor communicators of ideas unless you spend a lot of time laying out the semantic map.

I have a favourite saying that's become almost a trope; the map is not the terrain. I usually talk about it in the context of, say, DNA as a code ( the code is the thing we impose on the molecule to aid understanding, not the molecule itself; DNA is a code in precisely the same way that London is a map), but it's just as true of our personal internal models of the language. We each carry a model of every word in our minds, and our models are the map we have of the language, but there's no guarantee that the map I carry is the same as the map you carry. It will have lots of shared landmarks, but the houses will have slightly different occupants.

OK, so I'm stretching the analogy too far. How very unlike me... :D

I'll be writing more about this in the coming days in the context of how natural language caused problems for the foundations of mathematics, among other things, and I just pulled the trigger on a piece about how formal logic can aid in removing ambiguity to reveal logical structure.
 

mechtheist

New Member
Welcome.
All fine, as long as you do not start talking Geordie
Thank you, sorry it's so late, I set it for notifications and didn't get one, I figured no on was interested enough.

I don't even know what Geordie is, Star Trek is out, he has no ending 'e'. I actually speak Hickish-Texan, sometimes very hickish. That was actually my 2nd post, 1st one was 8 years ago and I'm older than dirt's parents.
 

mechtheist

New Member
This covers something I've talked about an awful lot on the blog, because it's such a problem with how we think about things that it leads to all sorts of issues of comprehension; the pitfalls of natural language. Natural language is such a source of wooliness that it becomes incredibly difficult to parse meaning in some contexts. I've always suspected that's one of the reasons escalations in online discussion are so easy because, absent other indicators, words can be really poor communicators of ideas unless you spend a lot of time laying out the semantic map.

I have a favourite saying that's become almost a trope; the map is not the terrain. I usually talk about it in the context of, say, DNA as a code ( the code is the thing we impose on the molecule to aid understanding, not the molecule itself; DNA is a code in precisely the same way that London is a map), but it's just as true of our personal internal models of the language. We each carry a model of every word in our minds, and our models are the map we have of the language, but there's no guarantee that the map I carry is the same as the map you carry. It will have lots of shared landmarks, but the houses will have slightly different occupants.

OK, so I'm stretching the analogy too far. How very unlike me... :D

I'll be writing more about this in the coming days in the context of how natural language caused problems for the foundations of mathematics, among other things, and I just pulled the trigger on a piece about how formal logic can aid in removing ambiguity to reveal logical structure.
I've seen arguments/debates where they're going on and on and you can tell they're talking past each other, either one of both of them seem incapable of realizing they're not on the same page, or even the same book.

That submarine swimming thing is a real head-scratcher, why the fuck don't they swim? It turns out they do swim in other languages. It's that map thing, English maps don't include that particular association. like there's a road connecting them in some maps but but it's missing in the English maps, to stretch the analogy even further. Presumably, English speakers just never got around to using that metaphor so the road didn't get built [put on the map] and it's jarring when you see it, our brains can't go there because it can't find a path that isn't in our maps.

I understand about the map not being the terrain though I'm sure I often can fail at noticing when I'm making that mistake. What if the terrain is a pipe:
1623493346496.png

I need to check out your writing on this. DNA isn't a code, but how often is someone making that mistake when they say 'DNA is a code'? DNA is a molecule. Is saying 'DNA is a molecule that encodes the sequence of amino acids' saying 'DNA is a code'? There's a many-to-one mapping of the triplets to amino acids that get stuck together to build proteins, but that is a description of what physically happens, but it's also the 'code', isn't it? I'm not sure what you mean by 'impose on the molecule'. The ribosomes 'decode' the mRNA built by DNA-to-RNA transcription blah blah blah protein, is calling that process 'decoding' that's wrong or imprecise, or ? It's really just a bunch of molecules doing their thing with the DNA as sorta like initial conditions that will end up with the right proteins getting built. I think I'm starting to veer into getting confused about what I'm getting confused about.

Anyway, it's great to converse with you after what must be 3 or maybe as many as 5 years??? Have a good one.
 
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