[ExI] don't bother

Dylan Distasio interzone at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 16:33:33 UTC 2020

Language is an incredibly powerful element of a culture.   There is a
circular feedback loop of culture shaping language and language shaping
culture.  I believe it affects thought directly as it is difficult to think
about something when you don't have something in the language to verbalize

On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 12:12 PM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 9:57 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> *> After 30 years of calling my Japanese friends amanojaku, I find out
>> Amanojaku is a demon-like beast in Japanese folklore, who devours a child
>> and dresses up in her skin in order to impersonate the child to fool her
>> grandparents into feeding it. All this time for all those years, my sushi
>> guy was saying “Greetings, horrifying demon.”  Why that sly bastard.  I
>> don’t think I will use the other Japanese terms and phrases he suggested I
>> say to attractive young Japanese-speaking women.*
> *Richard Feynman also tried to learn Japanese and this is what he had to
> say about it: *
> *"*
> *While in Kyoto I tried to learn Japanese with a vengeance. I worked much
> harder at it, and got to a point where I could go around in taxis and do
> things. I took lessons from a Japanese man every day for an hour. One day
> he was teaching me the word for "see." "All right," he said. "You want to
> say, 'May I see your garden?' What do you  say?" I made up a sentence with
> the word that I had just learned. "No, no!" he said. "When you say to
> someone, 'Would you like to see my garden?  you use the first 'see.' But
> when you want to see someone else's garden, you must use  another 'see,'
> which is more polite."  "Would you like to glance at my lousy garden?" is
> essentially what you're saying  in the first case, but when you want to
> look at the other fella's garden, you have to say something like, "May I
> observe your gorgeous garden?" So there's two different words you have to
> use.  Then he gave me another one: "You go to a temple, and you want to
> look at the gardens. . ." I made up a sentence, this time with the polite
> "see." "No, no!" he said. "In the temple, the gardens are much more
> elegant. So you have to say something that would be equivalent to 'May I
> hang my eyes on your most  exquisite gardens?'  Three or four different
> words for one idea, because when I'm doing it, it's miserable; when you're
> doing it, it's elegant. I was learning Japanese mainly for technical
> things, so I decided to check if this same problem existed among the
> scientists. At the institute the next day, I said to the guys in the
> office, "How would I say in Japanese, 'I solve the Dirac Equation'?" They
> said such­and­so. "OK. Now I want to say, 'Would you solve the Dirac
> Equation?' ­­ how do I say  that?" "Well, you have to use a different word
> for 'solve,' " they say. "Why?" I protested. "When I solve it, I do the
> same damn thing as when you solve  it!" "Well, yes, but it's a different
> word ­­ it's more polite."  I gave up. I decided that wasn't the language
> for me, and stopped learning Japanese."*
> * John K Clark*
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