Or something, although the writer is known for his linguistics work as well:
There is a trap which is deeply rooted in the intellectual culture, and we have to avoid it. The trap is the doctrine that I sometimes call the doctrine of change of course. It's a doctrine that's invoked every two or three years in the United States. The content of the doctrine is yes, in the past, we did some wrong things because of our innocence or out of inadvertence, but now that's all over, so we can't not waste any more time on this boring, stale stuff, which incidentally we suppressed and denied while it was happening, but must now be effaced from history as we march forward to a glorious future. And if you look, it is literally every two or three years that the doctrine is invoked. There is a qualification. We are permitted, in fact, required to recall with great horror the misdeeds of official enemies, and we're also required to admire with awe, our own magnificent achievements in the past in both categories, relying in no small measure on self-serving reconstructions, which quickly collapse if you follow the path of paying attention to the facts, but fortunately, that dangerous course is excluded by the convenient doctrine of change of course, which blocks any such heresies.
The Noamster, of course, at ZNet | Iraq | After the War. Nothing he hasn't said a zillion times before, but unlike me he still seems to have some patience for repeating himself.
Speak read or write Spanish No Yes Speak read or write Polish No Yes Communicate using ASL (American Sign Language) No Yes Communicate using SEE (Sign Exact English) No Yes Speak read or write Arabic No Yes Speak read or write Cambodian No Yes Speak read or write Cantonese No Yes Speak read or write French No Yes Speak read or write German No Yes Speak read or write Greek No Yes Speak read or write Gujarati No Yes Speak read or write Hebrew No Yes Speak read or write Hindi No Yes Speak read or write Italian No Yes Speak read or write Japanese No Yes Speak read or write Korean No Yes Speak read or write Laotian No Yes Speak read or write Mandarin No Yes Speak read or write Portugese No Yes Speak read or write Russian No Yes Speak read or write Tagalog No Yes Speak read or write Vietnamese No Yes
Questions from the Illinois Skills Match System. Yes, the presence or absense of a particular language, and the order in which they appear, is quite significant. But if I gotta tell you that about Polish and Chicago, you might be at the wrong web site.
Although all observers may be confronted by the same physical evidence in the form of experiential data and although they may be capable of "externally similar acts of observation," a person's "picture of the universe" or "view of the world" differs as a function of the particular language or languages that person knows.
(Lee 1996, page 87)
First you have to claw your way through the linguistic thicket created by the academic register in which that quotation is written. Why is it written like that? One of the rules of the Academic Regalian register is that the more you expect other academics to be opposed to what you're saying or wanting, the more extreme your use of the register has to he. This is unfortunate, because controversial subjects are also subjects about which it's important to be as clear as possible. But if the academic game is the game you're playing, clarity has to be sacrificed to this linguistic dominance display.
The translation process introduces a delay, certainly; but when you get to the end of it you will realize that you've cone upon a concept so interesting that it grips the mind and won't let go. It's called "the linguistic relativity hypothesis" (also "the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis" and "the Whorf/Whorfian hypothesis"). Lee's quotation says that the way human beings perceive the world around them varies with the languages they know — even though they perceive the same things, in the same manner, using the same physical and mental "equipment." This will strike you either as common sense or non-sense, depending on your own personal convictions about the power of language.
From The Link Between Language and the Perception of Reality, itself an excerpt from The Language Imperative, by Suzette Haden Elgin. Some of whose SF novels I'm certain I read at some point, but damned if I can remember anything about them. Maybe memory is the first thing to. . . no, my memory's always been crap.
Thing about the third verse is, currently I seem to playing the role of the villain in several people's psychodramas, and only find out about my villainy second- or third-hand, weeks or months after the fact -- I'm still slightly puzzled about when I threatened anyone, unless white folk aren't familiar with the phrase "put my foot up his/her ass," which I don't think is the case.
Luckily for all involved -- well, for me, anyway -- I find all this alternately amusing or hideously idiotic, rather than getting defensive about it. Meaning I joke about it. Some people, it seems, take offense at this.
Well, there's a simple solution.
No, really, if reading this site bothers you that much, the chances of me changing to make you feel better are somewhere between slim and none, so you'll do wonders for your attitude by just going the fuck away. Buh-bye.
Unless, you know, you'd prefer to act like grown folk and actually talk to me about what's bothering you.
Didn't think so.