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View Diary: Bookflurries: Bookchat: Will The Book Hold Up? (280 comments)

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  •  I had a friend I worked with from the Kingdom of (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, cfk, scilicet, barbwires, RunawayRose

    Lesotho Africa, a landlocked country surrounded by South Africa.  He was explaining how, when learning English, he was confused and yet he marveled over how many words we had for some things.  Like walk.  There are so many ways of saying somebody walked.  Like saunter, stagger, lurch, waddle, etc.  

    He told me that in Lesotho, they didn't have names for the basic colors that we have.  They have a word for blue, and for not-blue -- and that's it.  

    Weird, huh?

    I saw a PBS thing on the Yamato Indians of South America, one time, that said that they could only count up to two.  They had words for one, two, and more than two.  That's it.  Once you got past two, it was just "more than two."  When I saw that, I thought of my friend from Lesotho.

    The language that we use determines a lot of what we it's just basically POSSIBLE for us to think about.  That was one of the themes of 1984, the whole idea of Newspeak, the only language in history that gets smaller year after year.  They would remove words from the dictionary over time to the point where eventually, someday, people would not be able to hold intelligent conversations about anything subversive.

    So, today, mountains are a common metaphor for "things to overcome."  Climbing a mountain to prove a point or for bragging rights is an evolved concept.

    By the way, just guessing from your handle, but if you're into Bertolt Brecht, I wrote a diary that was primarily about him and German "Degenerate Music" in the 1920s, 1930s.

    When I see rock and roll diaries, I often check them out, although I can be kind of picky.  I'll keep my eyes peeled.

    •  Ah, the cornucopia of the English language (3+ / 0-)
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      cfk, Dumbo, RunawayRose

      Yes, the words and concepts that we are fluent in, define the boundaries of what we can conceive.

      Moods can do the same. When I moved to LA, I was surrounded by a wealth of possible choices, what I could do with my day. But I was so depressed that I lay in bed agonizing over the tunnel I saw before me: to get out of bed, or hide under the covers.

      I'm more named after Brecht than a fan of his, though he certainly doesn't bore me. Just a bit hard to wholeheartedly admire, at least for his character.

      Thanks for pointing me to your German "Degenerate Music" diary. I'm stuck on a soundless computer, so I bookmarked it to read tomorrow and listen to later.

      Goodnight, Dumbo.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had a soundless computer (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dumbo, Brecht, RunawayRose

        until my son-in-law pointed out that my cat had jumped on the button with an x next to the round the left and turned off my sound.

        I know you problem is probably not that simple, but...

        anyway, I thought I would mention it.

        Best wishes with getting your sound back, soon!

        Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:28:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, actually, it's my aunt's computer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, Dumbo

          The problem is just the speakers are broken. I could get  her new speakers but, since she prefers it soundless, I just leave it alone.

          Next visit, I'll bring some with me to use while I'm here.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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