Friday, 16 February 2007


I've been thinking about setting up a blog for ages. Years, probably. So finally I've done it, and will faithfully maintain it with regular updates until the inspiration runs dry.

Facts are sacred, but some more so than others. So half of this blog will consist of things that I have learned, usually on or shortly after I have learned them. The rest will consist of random stuff I make up. I only hope that it is obvious which is which, at least half the time... For example, every sentiment in this entry is true, up until this point. From now on, who knows? After all,
if I say I'm eating a banana while typing, who can contradict it?


Auntie Em said...

"if I say I'm eating a banana while typing, who can contradict it?"

Ahhh - the doctrine of blog-al infallibility!

Martin Sewell said...

Four linguistic "facts", three true and one false:

1) The Mapuche Indians of Chile have sued Microsoft for releasing a version of its Windows XP operating system in their language without their authorization.

2) Noam Chomsky believes that children come preprogrammed with the rules for all human languages.

3) The language of the Bhutija of Tibet corresponds so well with the categories of formal logic, with a notable absence of ambiguity, that it is of interest to specialists in computer linguistics.

4) The Belgian linguist Johannes Goropius Becanus announced that Flemish is the oldest language in the world, basing his argument on its simplicity (e.g., short words).

Can you guess which one is false?

DavidC said...

2) is true, if rather simplified. 4) doesn't suprise me - some people believe all sorts of things!
But then I admit I had to google - I had assumed that a language couldn't be copyrighted/patented or whatever, but 1) turns out to be true too. The only reference to 3) comes from the original list of all four 'facts'... LanguageHat blog itself quoting from a German linguistic blog. Sadly, German is just one of over 5000 languages that I don't speak...

Having said that, the Belgian chap does sound rather fascinating, and might be the subject of a future entry here...

Martin Sewell said...

Correct, the answer is 3).