[self-interest] Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and..
toby at ovod-everett.org
Sun Aug 9 19:30:22 UTC 2009
On Fri, Aug 07, 2009 at 11:43:07AM -0700, Steve Dekorte wrote:
> Not all human languages are a tangle of special cases. Turkish, for
> example, is completely phonetic and this allows children learning it
> to become completely fluent years earlier. It also eliminates spelling
> mistakes and significantly increases typing speeds (there is a reason
> why stenotypes are phonetic).
Many languages have phonetic spelling systems - English seems to be a large
exception in that regard. I suspect that Turkish spelling in the Latin-based
form is especially regular because it was developed rather recently (81 years
Funny that you mention Turkish, BTW, since it's the language I use when trying
to explain to people/system administrators/programmers that case insensitivity
is tricky. Case insensitivity works well in English, but even something as
simple as capitalizing "windows" if you're on a Turkish system can result in
problems. Turkish has both a dotted-i and an undotted-i - the lower case
dotted-i upper cases into an upper case dotted-i (which is thus different from
the "normal" English upper case I) and the upper case undotted-i lower cases
into a undotted-i (which is thus different from the "normal" English lower
case i). Thus on a Turkish system, upper casing "windows" may not result in
"WINDOWS". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_dotted_and_dotless_I for
some more information. ;)
> > The latter is supposedly much cleaner, but notice that
> > many more people speak the former.
> English speakers also outnumber Turkish speakers, but I'd be highly
> skeptical of the argument that the language features are the cause of
> this difference.
True, but I doubt there are any perfectly regular human languages that weren't
> Btw, I've noticed a tendency for discussions of unnecessary complexity
> vs. simplicity to ultimately devolve into the more human vs. less
> human argument. But who is it who gets to define that which humans
> should aspire to? Are gothic gargoyles on the sides of cathedrals
> truly "more human" than the architecture Frank Lloyd Wright? Which
> humanity do you want to belong to?
I'm not advocating that Perl is more beautiful than Self by any stretch of the
imagination. But Perl does have a history of inclusion, a tendency to adopt
"ivory tower" concepts (closures being an obvious example, and I posit C::P as
another example), and in this respect it may resemble English - ugly, but an
expansive vocabulary enriched by the inclusion of many foreign works and
concepts (even if they are brutally mispronounced).
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