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Everything posted by Strange

  1. I know exactly what you mean but ... do you know which island has the most languages? Papua New Guinea has over 800 different languages, many with no obvious genetic relationship to one another. This is fascinating and should, presumably, tell us a lot about language development and how new languages arise. Unfortunately, it is not an area (geographically and linguistically) that I know anything about.
  2. All good English words! Which reminds me of another great Japanese loanword: a buffet is a バイキング (baikingu, from Viking)
  3. Yes, I can see that input - output = accumulation would make a bit more sense.
  4. But they become French words when used in French. There is a word in French for rugby: le rugby. It is now a French word. Exactly. "Deja vu" is an English word, for example. And アルバイト (from the German arbeit) is a Japanese word.
  5. They are generally words in most other languages, as well. (I know you are not making that point, but just in case) There is no limit. One of the defining characteristics of natural language is that it can be used to express any idea at all (despite all the "language X has no word for Y" articles you see on line). It is always possible to write a sentence that no one has ever seen or heard before, and for it to be understood by the listener/reader. Human brains are amazing. We have identified and named something like 10 million species, I think. But there may be billions more out there.
  6. How about エンスト (ensuto) for stalling a car (engine stop). Or レミコン (remicon) for ready mixed concrete.
  7. In japanese, the word スマート (sumaato < smart) means "slim", a pretty large semantic shift. (But maybe it is no longer the same word.)
  8. Interesting question. One might be tempted to ask: which language has the most dialects. But, even more than with words, there is no good definition of what is a language and what is a dialect!
  9. ! Moderator Note The rules require you to present your ideas here, not just link to a website
  10. English comes 4th in the article above and 7th on this list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dictionaries_by_number_of_words
  11. Well, I thought it was an interesting question. I'm sorry if you don't.
  12. I created a new thread for this so we wouldn't take this one any further off topic
  13. Spoiler: it isn't English. Or it might be. Who knows. More importantly, who cares
  14. This is an interesting but, ultimately, fairly meaningless question. (Also, it isn't obviously related to the original point about English being "most rational, and sophisticated") The problem is, mainly, how do you define a word. Do you count inflections as separate words: e.g are "dog" and "dogs" one word or two. What about different meanings: "dog" the animal versus the verb "to dog"; and what about all the different meanings of that verb. And then the conjugations of the verb (dog, dogs, dogged, dogging, etc). Is a hyphenated term one word or two (or more). If you decide that the forms of a verb are separate words, then what about languages that have more complex verbs forms, or those that gave none. Then, English uses a sequence of separate words to express a concept while Japanese, for example, uses a single word with multiple suffixes (e.g. "I did not want to eat" vs. "tabetakunakatta"). Does that make English or Japanese more "sophisticated? Then again, English has lots of irregular verbs (it sometimes like they are all irregular) whereas Japanese has only two common ones. So which is more "rational"? https://blog.ititranslates.com/2018/03/07/which-language-is-richest-in-words/ p.s. I put this in "Other sciences" because I think linguistics counts as a science
  15. That is an interesting question, but is off-topic for this thread.
  16. You do know the world was in colour back then? 🙂
  17. It is shorthand for the mathematical description of the geometry we use to describe the effects of mass and energy. As you have already been told, it is nothing to do with "Einstein said it" or "bowing the knee"; it is all about how well the model matches observation (very well, indeed). It is precisely no more and no less rational or sophisticated than another language. Obviously not true.
  18. And more than that, "the curvature of spacetime" is shorthand for "the curvature of the geometry of our measurements of space and time" (or something like that)
  19. Just because some things can be recalled accurately from dreams does not mean everything is.
  20. I would say someone capable of critical thinking, who asks probing questions, who thinks about the meaning of the words used, etc. They don't have to have any big ideas, just able to analyse ideas.
  21. You don't need to travel at near light speed or loop round Alpha Centauri. The effects happen at slower speeds and shorter distances. They are just smaller. But luckily, we can build instruments accurate enough to measure them. There are a huge number of experimental confirmations of relativity (that is why it is a theory, i.e. a really solid and well tested explanation, rather than just a guess) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_special_relativity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity
  22. "Space" in this context means the distance between things (in three dimensions). And, yes, that distance really can increase as predicted by theory. Yep.
  23. People vary enormously in the ability to visualise things in their "mind's eye". I am not completely aphantasic, but I certainly can't conjure up a detailed view of things like that in my imagination. However, when I remember a dream, I remember it being a complete and vivd realisation. However, I have no way of knowing if that is because my dreaming brain is able to do things that my conscious brain cannot, or if I just think it was that detailed after the event (in the same way that I dream about speaking fluently in a second language, that I know I couldn't do; or saying something hilariously funny that isn't funny at all when I wake up). Our impressions about what our dreams were like are even more unreliable than eye witness testimony of things that actually happened (which are pretty unreliable to start with).
  24. The "things I won't work with" category on that blog is worth a read: it includes compounds that are stupidly explosive and unstable ("compounds that are just trembling with the desire to explode"), incredibly toxic compounds and things that smell really, really (no, really) bad. He has hilarious descriptions of how bad these things are. Teaser: And even plain old ice will do that.
  25. You could look into the technology used in "lie detectors" - they are utterly useless for detecting lies, but they may have some correlation with stress more generally
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