1984 = 2048?

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Flamenca's picture
I wrote " these two aspects",

I wrote " these two aspects", so I meant both quality and accuracy, @JohnB, xD

But I think your example may be only functional on relatively short messages (an essay -or a book!- full of emoticons would be exhausting). And if it has academic aim, emoticons shouldn't be conceded.

Keith Raye's picture
I appear to be one of the few

I appear to be one of the few native English, speakers of English here, so I'll just add a few words to the conversation. English is becoming the world's lingua franca, not so much because of British or American political influence, but because it's the most expressive and adaptable language in the world. I started school in 1950, like Algebe did, and left in 1961. I was actually still 14 then, and yet I had a better knowledge of English at that age than 18 year-olds do today. Why? Because I had a brilliant teacher who understood her subject thoroughly, and knew how to teach it properly - the subject was considered, in those days, to be as important as maths.
If the quality of English language teaching deteriorates - and I'm certain that, generally speaking, it has - then that very adaptability and expressiveness that make English such a good communicative tool will deteriorate too.

And hey, listen up yanks, I have a great deal of respect for you guys and your country, but don't you ever try to tell me that you speak English, because you don't. You speak American. And don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying your language is inferior to mine, just that it's not the same.

Finally, again like Algebe, I have some knowledge of several other languages, although I'm not fluent in any of them. For what it's worth, I think that the title for the most beautiful spoken language in the world belongs to French - but that's only my opinion!

algebe's picture
@Keith "don't you ever try to

@Keith "don't you ever try to tell me that you speak English, because you don't. You speak American."

I have to disagree with you there, Keith. There are about five times more American English speakers than British, and their version of it is arguably older than ours, so I'm happy to grant them ownership of the language as long as they take good care of it. I've noticed that Americans I know tend to be more grammar-conscious than we Brits. They say a language is a dialect with an army and navy. And the Americans certainly have those.

The status of English as a world language reflects the size of the British and American empires and the huge technological and cutural achievements and financial clout of the English-speaking world. Money talks. So do the Internet, jet aircraft, computers, and Hollywood.

Keith Raye's picture
Yes, Algebe, I agree with

Yes, Algebe, I agree with some of what you say. But I'd argue that English is the language of the internet, aircraft control, computers, banking etc, precisely because it is more expressive and adaptable than other languages. Also, I've spent time in the US and I know that lots of American words and expressions have vastly different meaning from English ones. Por ejemplo, 'fag' in Britain is a cigarette - in America it's a homosexual. 'Ass' in America means backside - in Britain it's a donkey. You can get yourself into serious trouble if you don't understand these things.

algebe's picture
@Keith: "You can get yourself

@Keith: "You can get yourself into serious trouble if you don't understand these things."

You can get yourself into serious trouble in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere if you wear your thongs in the wrong place. Here in Australia they wear them on the beach, on their feet. If you fancy a beer while you're in your thongs, you get it out of a cooler in the States, an eskie in Australia, and a chilly bin in New Zealand.

Keith Raye's picture


Thongs? LOL!! I can't stop laughing over that one. You obviously mean beach sandals. If you had a speech impediment ( lisp ) in Oz, it wouldn't be a good idea to suggest a sing-song, then?

Oh, and there's the word 'bum', which in the US means a tramp or hobo, whereas in English, hobo is a homosexual with nasal congestion, and bum means the same as ass does in American. It's not just a question of dialect, the semantics are different too.

Flamenca's picture
I think I'd find a

@Algebe I think I'd find a monolingual world very flat and dull. +100.

I spent 2 years learning Latin and traditional Greek in high-school, which help me learn Italian as well ('though I'm not as fluent as I'm in English), basic French and Portughese to feel safe traveling and I know the alphabet in Arabic, maybe useful in case Spain is reconquered (this is a joke but it's not). When I look backwards, it totally worth the effort on every minute of learning a new language.

In Spanish, except for "you" and "I", every pronoun should be distingued by gender. "We" could be "nosotros" (male or mostly male) or "nosotras" (all female), etc. and even the majority of adjectives have also gender and number markers ("ugly" = feo+fea+feos+feas).

What I little know of Japanese culture is fascinating...and I didn't know about the gender... Does it affect on society? Is it an egalitarian/feminist society? About Trump, get nuances is a whole new level that it took me several years to access, and my culture is not as different as yours from Japan's...

algebe's picture
@Angiebot: "Is it an

@Angiebot: "Is it an egalitarian=feminist society?"

Not really. They have a complex grammar of respect that requires you to speak in certain ways depending on your gender, age, and status. There are subtle clues that tell each person where he or she stands.

But women are coming out of the kitchen and moving up the corporate/political ladder. Tokyo, which is bigger than many countries, has a female governor, and there was a female minister of defense until she got fired a couple of weeks ago over a political scandal. Japan has a labor shortage due to their low birthrate, so companies are eager to recruit women back into the work force. It's similar to the situation in Britain during World War I. All the men went off to war, so women took over many jobs. That gave them a sense of independence and power and encouraged the suffrage movement.

Can you imagine a Spanish man handing over his entire wages to his wife and then receiving pocket money from her? That's quite common in Japan.

Keith Raye's picture
Fascinating stuff about

Fascinating stuff about Japanese society, Algebe! A similar thing to that which you describe happened in Britain during the second world war when women again proved their worth in all sorts of fields. Plus, the British Army at last began to acknowledge that their senior NCO's made better leaders of men than the upper-class twits that most of the officer corps was traditionally drawn from. That situation never occurred in the USA because they were never saddled by a class system and centuries of tradition.
The sexual inequality of the past - which stems in large part from the male personification of gods - led to a terrible and horrifying waste of female talent. That waste is, at last, being recognised and rectified in many Western countries. It's good to know that it's happening in Japan too - a country with a long history of male domination.

Flamenca's picture
@Algebe, I change the = for a

@Algebe, I change the = for a /, because being egalitarian is not 100% to be feminist. This topic belongs to a future thread...

speak in certain ways depending on your gender, age, and status. Wow. By status do you mean class or single/married, etc. situation?

Can you imagine a Spanish man handing over his entire wages to his wife and then receiving pocket money from her? Well, I wouldn't call it pocket money but I manage money (which is shared 100%) at home, and my partner is a man... I'm not saying it's usual, but I wouldn't call it rare, except for chauvanistic couples. He was the administrator of our money for the first years, because by default, men are more prone to think they are better at everything (*), especially money, and the truth is he did a pretty bad job. So we changed roles, and et voilà! Savings!

P.S.: Thank you, Keith, for being a man who points out the "horrifying waste of female talent". I feel the same, and mainly when I watch wonderful older women who sorround me... such a miserable waste!
(*) except for housework and things related to babies.

algebe's picture
@Angiebot: "By status do you

@Angiebot: "By status do you mean class or single/married, etc. situation?"

All of those. But it's fluid. If I go to a doctor or meet the president of a company, my status is much lower, but if I then go into a shop, I become a god to the shopkeepers. Age, seniority, authority, all influence the way you speak. Fortunately there's a neutral way to speak with mid-level politeness, which works fine for me as a foreigner.

Flamenca's picture
It's amazing what you tell...

It's amazing what you tell about Japanese language... Thanks for sharing, @Algebe.

Keith Raye's picture
You may be interested to know

You may be interested to know that all my stories have strong female characters in them. The trilogy I'm working on now deals with many of the issues raised in this thread and others - sexuality, sexual equality, language and religion are some of them.

Incidentally, Angiebot, my experience of married life (yes, although I'm gay I was married once ) from the financial perspective, was very much the same as yours.

Flamenca's picture
Your book arrived home this

Your book arrived home this week... I'll keep you posted on it!

P.S. Given you're gay, I bet your marriage wasn't one of those chauvanistic couples ;)

Unfortunately, some use money as a tool for exploitation within the couple.


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