Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Sociology, communication, language.  ---  .Introduction or summary of language topics.  (1) Development of language: in humans, in specific languages, and in specific individuals.  (2) Mind and language.  Thought and language.  Psycholinguistics.  (3) Naming.  Reference.  (4) Obscenity.  (5) Slang.  (6) World language.  (7) Writing.  (8) Semiotics.  Symbolism.  (9) Semantics.  Meaning.  (10) Syntax and Grammar.  (11) Translation and interpretation.  (12) Definitions.  Dictionaries.  Encyclopedias.  ---  4/15/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  .This section is about various other thoughts on language.  Topics include: ( ) Development of language.  In individual, society, and humankind.  ( ) Interpretation.  ( ) Language acquisition (in an individual).  ( ) Language change (in a society).  ( ) Mind and language.  ( ) Naming.  ( ) Obscenity.  ( ) Philosophy of language.  ( ) Slang.  ( ) Translation.  ( ) World language.  Universal language.  ( ) Writing.  ---  1/24/2006

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  (1) How many vocabulary words are necessary for a basic understanding of a language?  1000 words?  5000 words?  (2) How many vocabulary words are necessary for fluent understanding of a language?  10,000 words?  20,000 words?  ---  12/6/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  (1) How simple or complex a language is (how easy to learn).  (2) How efficient it is.  (3) How subtle and refined it is.  Number and structure of categories.  (4) How flexible a language is.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  (1) Letters.  A letter is a written symbol.  (2) Words.  A word is a sequence of letters.  Not just any sequence, rather, only specific sequences of letters form words.  (3) Sentences.  A sentence is a sequence of words.  Not just any sequence of words, rather only specific sequences of words form sentences.  (4) A word is also a sound.  Or a sequence of phonemes.  ---  7/1/2006

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  (1) Semiotics = study of communication.  (2) A group of related symbols = text, discourse, or literature (even if they are in visual arts or natural environment.  Ex. Text of beach = umbrellas, sand, sun tan oil, babes).  ---  02/07/1994

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  (1) Words.  Its all about words.  What is philosophy but talking about words?  (2) What things are as yet un-named?  What things are as yet undescribed?  New things without names.  New things not yet put into words.  (3) Thinking with words versus thinking without words.  Feelings often have no names.  Each thought has a nameless feeling attached.  ---  12/16/2006

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  (1) Worth of a single statement (% truth x % importance).  (2) Worth of a combination of statements.  Power can increase in combinations (Ex. Five tenets of Darwinism).  Sum is greater than parts.  ---  12/30/1995

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Acquisition.  (1) If animals do not have language, then how do they think?  Poorly?  (2) In humans, language developed after our vocal cords changed, and language in turn shapes our brains?  What was the order of development of each?  All at once?  ---  9/20/1998

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Acquisition.  (1) Language acquisition in children.  Is it purely innate vs. is it purely learned?  How much of each is it?  (2) Language acquisition in adults: why is it tough to learn, especially accents?  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Acquisition.  How fast an individual can learn a language.  How many languages an individual can learn.  Best ways to learn a language.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Acquisition.  Learning a language.  (1) Learn the phonemes and pronunciation.  (2) Learn the vocabulary: basic to subtle, important to unimportant.  (3) Learn the spelling.  (4) Learn the grammar: cases, tenses, gender.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Acquisition.  Results of language acquisition studies.  (1) It is easier to learn a language as a child, before age six.  (2) There appears to be an innate universal grammar structure, or so says Chomsky, based in part on experiments of children's grammar mistakes.  ---  9/20/1998

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Art language vs. practical language vs. everyday language.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Both Wittgenstein and Sapir-Whorf thought that languages limit thought.  However, if you can create new words to describe new concepts then how can there be any limit?  Language does not limit worlds, language creates worlds.  ---  6/12/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Change and development in languages (historical change), both in society and in individual.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Change and development of languages in the world.  (1) Origin.  (2) Change.  (A) Change on own.  (B) Influence of other languages and societies.  (C) Increase in usage vs. decrease in usage.  (D) Increase in complexity, and practicality.  (3) Death of a language.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Change.  History of language: (1) In humans.  (2) A specific language.  (3) In an individual.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Change.  Language change.  New words form, and old words die.  Changes in pronunciation: vowels, consonants.  Changes in grammar.  Changes in spelling.  Changes in writing style.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Change.  Language history: rise and fall, or spread and shrinkage, of languages and language families.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Creativity and language.  (1) Some people are creative with language.  Artists, poets and people who use slang are people who use language creatively.  They make new words, new meanings for words, new grammatical constructions, etc.  (2) Other people are language purists, literalists and formalists.  Those who use language more precisely include mathematicians, logicians, philosophers and scientists.  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Development of language (and thinking).  (1) Development of the ability of talking about the past and future.  Discussing one's wants, hopes and probabilities.  (2)  Development of the ability of talking about hypotheticals (might have been, might be, etc.) and contingencies.  ---  11/18/2001

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Development of language in humans.  Things heard before the naming of people: "How"  "How's old so and so?"  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Development of language in the human species.  (1) Primitive (simple) words were combined to make complex words (and qualified words).  For example, "Go" yielded both "walk" and "run".  (2) Primitive sentences combined to make complex sentences.  (3) Primitive paragraphs (ex. bare bones syllogisms) combined to yield complex paragraphs.  ---  4/11/2000

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Development of language.  The naming of all the things.  How did people speak before the names, or before most things were named?  Were the words "stuff", "thing", "this" or "that" among the first names?  How did people think before the names, or before most things were named?  How did the naming of things like emotions proceed?  ---  11/18/2001

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Development of language.  Two basic concepts.  Two basic gestures.  Two basic vocal expressions.  (1) Acceptance.  Arms pull in.  "Come here."  (2) Rejectance.  Arms push away.  "Go away."  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Development.  How did language evolve in humans?  What impact did the development of language have on humans?  ---  4/24/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  English.  Making English more phonetic.  Making English more standardized.  Weeding out the exceptions to the rules.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  How complex is any specific language?  How many words are in the average speaker's vocabulary?  How many meanings are there per word, on average?  How many possible meaningful grammatical constructions are there?  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Humans did not invent language.  Humans did not discover language.  Humans simply acquired the ability to talk, over a long period of time, millions of years ago, through the process of evolution.  ---  3/20/2007

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Hypotheticals.  A language where you assign the most frequently used concepts to the shortest words.  And you use all letter combinations to create words, from shortest to longest.  ---  8/2/1999

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Hypotheticals.  A language where you have one word for one concept, with no homophones (same word having different meanings).  ---  8/2/1999

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Hypotheticals.  Imagine a language with only one consonant and one vowel.  Or one noun and one verb.  Or a universe where only two things exist and one action can take place.  ---  11/08/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Idea development in an individual or society.  Corresponding word(s) development.  Corresponding written word(s) development.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Imagine two groups of people who speak the same language with the exception of different company names and product brand names.  Person 1: "I went to Krogers to get some Surf."  Person 2: "I went to Waldbaums to get some Tide."  How would their perceptions of reality differ?  ---  7/6/2002

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Interpretation and translation.  Is it ever the case that a person does not understand their own conscious verbal thoughts?  That is, does a person interpret their own thoughts?  If all communication involves interpretation; and if thinking is communication with the self; then perhaps a person interprets their own thoughts.  ---  12/11/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Interpretation or translation.  In the same way that there is automated translation from one modern language to another by using Internet web pages like Babelfish, so to should there be automated translation of ancient texts written in languages no longer spoken to modern languages.  This is useful because as a language changes texts become unreadable unless there is translation across time as well as space.  ---  10/16/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Interpretation.  A translator is also known as an interpreter.  Translation and interpretation are the same.  Translation and interpretation always occur, whether its between texts written in two different languages or words spoken between two different people.  ---  6/29/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Interpretation.  All communication is interpreted.  People interpret between different languages.  Even in the same language, interpretation takes place between two speakers.  (1) People interpret at the word level.  People interpret at the sentence level.  People interpret at the paragraph level.  (2) Word meanings change from person to person, and from place to place.  Different people have different conceptions of any given word, and thus interpretation between people must take place.  (3) At any given time, words can have multiple meanings, thus interpretation must take place.  (4) Word meanings change through time, thus interpretation must take place.  (5) Written texts are always interpreted.  Spoken words are always interpreted.  Non-verbal communication is always interpreted.  ---  6/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Interpretation.  Translation is a sub-problem of interpretation?  Interpreting human thought, communication, and action.  Every action communicates among other things.  ---  09/15/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Interpretation.  Translation.  Whenever you change the language (not content) of your message in order to take into account your audience's language system, i.e. whenever you "put it in words they can understand", you are translating.  ---  09/01/1994

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Is it communication?  Five strange cases.  (1) Thinking to self, or talking out loud to no one.  (2) Communication from the dead (ex. books by dead people).  (3) Communication to the unborn (ex. a letter to your descendants).  (4) Deduction from unconscious behaviors of others.  Are they communicating to you?  (5) Writing yourself a note and reading it years later.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Jargon.  (1) There is an unconscious natural human predisposition to form tribes that speak their own languages.  Examples of this phenomenon are the following: medical-ese, business-speak, political-ese, sports-talk, academia-ese, guilds and gangs.     (2) People have a bio-engineered, hardwired instinct to form groups, teams or tribes.  Humans have an instinct to be team players, to be loyal.     (3) Humans have an instinct to form their own languages with their own vocabularies and dialects.  They have an instinct, which is not conscious or deliberate, to form their own jargons.     (4) There are several reasons why: (A) They want to impress outsiders through obfuscation.  (B) They want to confuse and mystify outsiders.  (C) They want to appear big, like the wizard of Oz.  (D) They want to protect their secret knowledge.  (E) They want to build a verbal wall or barrier to separate themselves from others.  They want to create an in-group and an out-group.  (F) They want to hide or camouflage their averageness and mediocrity.     (5) In order to do the above, the group talks in code and euphemism instead of plainspeak.  The slang of gangs; the secret passwords and handshakes of frats and business groups; the esoterica of the masons; and the jargon of academic "schools" all have the above same things in common.  ---  8/20/2000

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Kerouac's type of argument: it doesn't matter what you say, as long as you get your meaning across.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Language change.  There are study aids that translate Shakespeare into modern English.  (1) Words have life spans.  We can see when words are born, become popular, fade from popular use and then are no longer used.  (2) Word meanings have life spans.  We can see how various meanings of a word emerge, catch on, fade and perish.  (3) Language change is fostered, in part, by geographic isolation.  Therefore, it is possible that a worldwide language will result in words and word meanings with longer shelf lives.  ---  11/12/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Language extinction.  What is lost when a language goes extinct?  Can languages be saved?  Can languages be saved by having a record of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar?  Can languages be saved by having sound recordings of speakers?  ---  4/26/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Language is about words and sentences.  Language is also about meaning and reference.  Meaning is about the relationship between words and the ideas or concepts the words stand for.  Meaning is mental or internal.  Meaning is an arbitrary agreement.  Reference is the relationship between words and the external objects the words stand for.  (2) A word can be meaningful or not.  A word cannot be true or false.  A sentence can be meaningful or not.  A sentence can be true or false.  (3) Using the narrow meaning of reference, concrete words refer to concrete objects.  Abstract words refer to nothing.  Abstract words mean abstract ideas or concepts.  (4) The ordinary speaker makes no distinction between meaning and reference.  The ordinary speaker uses the word meaning for both meaning and reference.  That is, for the words connection to the physical object and the words connection to the idea of the object.  ---  4/15/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Language is the consistent use of one thing to symbolize another.  ---  11/20/2001

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Linguistics, general topics.  (1) Language: spoken and written.  (2) Verbal communication.  Tone: timbre, pitch.  Dynamics, amplitude.  Staccato and legatto. (3) Word choice and grammar choice.  (4) Pronunciation, dialects, style.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Mind.  How well can we think without language?  How well can we communicate without language?  ---  12/01/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Mind.  Is language needed to think abstractly?  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Mind.  Relationship of thought and language.  Is thought silent language?  Is thought without language possible?  Is thought without image possible?  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Names.  I have no name.  Names are arbitrary.  Names are necessary evils, helpful tools.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  (1) People should name themselves.  (2) Any word, any symbol, should be allowed as a name.  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  Humans name physical objects.  Humans name abstract ideas too.  Every instance of word creation is an instance of naming.  ---  4/15/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  It should be your right to choose your own name.  For that reason, having a nickname cast on you by others is offensive.  Nicknames are often a power play, used by those who want to label other people.  You determine your name.  ---  6/11/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  Name Zen.  (1) The names of humans are arbitrary social conventions.  You are not your name.  No one has a name.  (2) The names of non-human objects are arbitrary social conventions.  The thing is not its name.  Nothing has a name.  (3) In fact, the same argument can be made for all words.  All words are arbitrary social conventions.  Even abstract words which denote ideas are arbitrary social conventions.  (4) In a Zen way, see things before their names were given.  See yourself before your name was given.  ---  10/8/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  Only when an idea is deemed important enough does it get its own word.  ---  9/8/1998

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  PART ONE.  Naming of things (like climbs, people, etc.).  To name a climb (or person) is (1) To claim ownership or possession.  To claim ownership to the rock vs. to claim ownership to the idea of the line and the moves.  (2) To assert what its metaphysical characteristics are.  (3) To assert what its associations are.  To call to mind other things.  Reminders.  (4) To have a public forum that lets you make metaphysical, epistemological, or ethical statements about anything.     PART TWO.  Types of climb names include (1) Statements about the climbs creator and his or her abilities.  Example: "I am a Bad Man" is a climb at Smith Rocks, Oregon.  (2) Statements about the qualities or characteristics of the route.  Geographic names like North Slab, or Thin Crack.  Names attesting to difficulty like Torture Chamber or Terminator.  (3) References to other things, like works of art such as literature (ex. No Exit), music (ex. Midnight Lightning), or visual art.  (4) Climb names rarely involve numbers (ex. X400), due perhaps to confusion with  rating system numbers.  (5) Honorarium names like "So and so's wall".  Memorium names say "remember this, never forget".     PART THREE. The names climbers give climbs are closer to the names abstract artists give works of art.  An artist makes a work of art, and gives it a name that strikes his or her fancy.  A name of what the artwork evokes rather than what it actually is.  Or a name reflecting what the artist had on his or her mind at the time of the creation of the work of art.  Not necessarily a name that describes the work of art.     PART FOUR.  The naming of climbs is unique from the naming of people, pets, cars, buildings, streets, etc.  (1) People usually get people names.  It was not till recently that people would name their kids Flower or Sunshine.  (2) Pets usually have personal "pet names".  We usually do not give pets people names like Harry or Sally.  We do not give them impersonal names though either.  (3) Names of racing horses usually are less personal and involve word play (puns).  (4) Names of boats also usually involve much punning.  (5) Few people name their houses, I wonder why.  (6) Automakers name cars, but no one names refrigerators.  (7) Street and building names are usually descriptive or memoriums.  There are certain popular street names like Main, Elm, Oak, Park, etc.  ---  02/15/1997

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  People sometimes use nicknames as a way to put a label on you and try to gain power over you.  People should freely name themselves.  ---  5/13/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Naming.  Sometimes I think I will change my name from Paul to Saul.  Except that I object to the name Saul as well as the name Paul.  I do not want a Christian, Jewish or Islamic name.  I don't want a religious name.  I do not want a white, black, red or yellow name.  I don't want a racial name.  I do not want a language-specific name that means something in one language but not another.  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Obscenity or "curse" words.  There are no intrinsically bad words.  Word meaning varies with use.  When someone tries to prevent you from saying a word they are trying to limit your speech and they are trying to limit your thought.  They are also trying to keep that word for themselves.  And on top of that, isn't the word "murder" worse than any word describing sexual intercourse?  So we see that the concept of "curse" words is fucked up.  ---  10/12/2003

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Obscenity.  First they want to ban words as obscene.  Then they want to ban books as obscene.  Then they want to ban people as obscene (like they tried to ban Lenny Bruce).  ---  10/26/2003

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Obscenity.  Some people spend their time denigrating other people without using obscenity.  Other people spend their time pursuing what's fucking wonderful in life.  ---  11/2/2003

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Obscenity.  Taboo curse words are illogical.  It is illogical for a group to say "you can say this word but not that word".  ---  10/25/1994

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Obscenity.  To say that saying the word "intercourse" is acceptable, but the word "fu*k", which means the same thing, is not acceptable, is illogical and idiotic.  The same with "feces" vs. "shit", and all other curse words.  To have taboo words is stupid.  Censorship of curse words is idiotic.  Obscenity is a concept that only applies to language used to degrade people.  To say the phrase, "the moronic "x" race", is obscenity without using curse words.  ---  04/24/1997

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Obscenity.  When they start trying to tell you what words you can and cannot use, beware.  In that words express ideas, all words are good.  When they label particular words as obscene, ugly, sexual or dirty, beware.  When they say you can't say these words, beware.  They want to censor you.  They want to silence you.  They want to control you.  They want to limit your thought.  They want to control the conversation.  ---  10/30/2003

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Of the number of words in the vocabulary of the average American, what percent are slang words and what percent are non-slang words found in the typical dictionary?  ---  1/12/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Philosophy of any word or phrase.  It is more than semantics.  You go deeper than vocabulary definitions.  See dictionary vs. encyclopedia.  ---  07/22/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Philosophy of language.  (1) One view: my world is limited by my vocabulary, or language, the words I know (ala Wittgenstein).  (2) An opposing view: all big words can be broken down into phrases of little words, so vocabulary does not limit what you can think or feel.  (3) A view in the middle: good vocabulary makes it easier to think.  Good vocabulary increases mental efficiency, and therefore increases the production of good new ideas.  ---  11/20/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Philosophy of language.  Areas of philosophy of language.  Semantics.  Meaning of a word = what it refers to (reference).  Sense = ?  Content vs. form.  Explicit vs. implicit (assumptions, or hidden arguments) meaning.  Associative meaning: what does it remind you of?  Meaning of a "thing" can change through time.  ---  08/15/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Philosophy of language.  The main philosophical, psychological, and sociological questions are (1) What is language?  (2) How does thought depend on language?  (3) What is communication? (4) Is communication possible?  (5) Can two people understand each other?  (6) Can one person understand themselves?  ---  07/30/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Politics and language.  Spin.  The language itself is a political football.  Language is a tool for power grabbers.  People try to twist meanings to gain power.  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Questions about language.  (1) How did language evolve in humans?  (2) How does language work?  (3) Classify and compare all existing world languages.  (4) Discuss artificial languages like Esperanto.  (5) What are the most general language concepts?  (6) How does language work in the mind?  (7) How does language work in society?  (8) Discuss these terms: semiotics, information, communication, meaning, semantics, grammar, syntax.  ---  3/18/2007

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Rating the languages.  (1) Ease of use, subtlety, and adaptability.  (2) Ease of learning, and vocabulary scope and depth.  (3) Accuracy, precision, and complexity.  (4) Conciseness (economy), range and subtlety.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Related subjects, effects of and on.  (1) Philosophy: of language.  (2) Scientific study: of language.  (3) Technology: of languages, mechanics.  (4) Art: of language, speaking and writing beautifully.  (5) Psychology: thinking, logic.  (6) Sociology: communication.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Slang as a way to express creativity.  It shows how smart you are, and how funny you are.  ---  9/20/1998

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Slang is good if it adds expressiveness to language.  However, most slang is used as a stock repertoire of catch phrases and buzzwords that quickly become cliche'.  Thus, while slang increases the vocabulary available to a society by adding new words to a language, slang also tends to decrease the vocabulary of the individuals who use it.  Slang decreases the expressiveness of the individual.  ---  10/28/2001

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Slang: (1) Slang as a way to create an identity, exclusivity, group membership, cult thinking.  (2) Slang as a way to rebel.  (3) Slang as a way to hide meaning, code talk.  (4) Slang as a way to empower yourself.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Stable words, meanings, and concepts vs. unstable words, meanings, and concepts.  In a person and among people, through time and space.  ---  9/15/1998

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  The future of language.  (1) Language change is inevitable.  Languages are never static, unless they are dead.  (2) Decrease in cultural isolation means fewer new languages are being born.  Many old languages are dying due to increases in cross-cultural contact and globalization.  (3) New words.  New physical things will get new names.  New ideas and attitudes will get new names.  ---  11/20/2001

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  The simple, basic, common sense views of language, meaning, truth, etc.     (1) Things physically exist.  We sense and perceive them.  We name them with words (concrete particulars).  We then make words about groups and classes (all x) (all x except y) of things, events, and relationships of things.  What order did humans start acknowledging and naming metaphysical things?  Abstractions (universals = a type of abstraction).  One word standing for a group of words.     (2) Meaning is when the words represent or stand for something.     (3) Truth is when the words represent or stand for something which actually exists, or is real.  What is so bad about this?  Where is the problem?  What is the complexity?  Where does it fail?  Vagueness, double meanings, etc.     (4) Knowledge is holding what is true.     (5) Grammar is the logic system of language?    (6) Definitions are different ways of saying, explaining, or showing what a word means.  Could and should we do away with the word "definition"?     (7) Semantics is the study of meaning.     (8) Language = grammar (logic) and meanings (semantics).  Language = communication through symbols (not signs or icons).     (9) In logic, the words "and, but, is, is not", are called operators.  In language they are called conjunctions.     (10) Noun, verb, adjective or adverb deal with object, action, and quality.     (11) Unify logic and math, logic and grammar, are they all the same?  Language = logic + meaning.  Language is the basis of all thought, communication, and philosophical argument.     (12) Spectrum of words from concrete and specific to abstract and general.  Classes and categories: kind, degree, and level.     (13) Semiotics is the study of communication, and language is a type of communication.     (14) Language can be grammatical but not meaningful.  Language can be logical but not grammatical.  Language can be meaningful but not logical or grammatical, etc., etc.     (15) The problems are when our philosophical arguments have logic, grammar, and meaning problems that we don't perceive but that fu*k us up.  We must clean it up.     (16) In ordinary language the meanings of words and phrases (and therefore conjunctions) are flexible and changing.  And change is healthy.  This sort of thing would screw logic.  Philosophical language is more formal, less flexible, less vague, with no double meanings.  ---  09/13/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Thinking and language.  The interior monologue (thinking) is as important as dialogue between people (communication).  ---  4/26/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Thought and language.  Does language help other areas of mind besides thinking, such as memory and emotion?  ---  4/26/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Thought and language.  How important is language for thought?  Is it true that humans think better by building their vocabulary or studying grammar?  Or is it the case that humans think better by developing the ability to direct our minds to new subjects, generate questions, generate possible answers, and argue for and against each answer?  ---  4/26/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Types of language.  The Fashion approach to classifying languages.  (1) Casual language:  Informal.  Used amongst friends.  (2) Business casual language:  Used in business situations.  (3) Semi-formal language:  For example, used in court cases and legal writing.  (4) Formal language:  Logically precise writing.  Used in symbolic logic.  (5) Lingerie language:  The intimate apparel of language.  Oohh.  Aahh.  ---  12/11/2005

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  What is the number of words in the vocabulary of the average American?  Is that number significantly more or less than in other languages?  (2) When can a person call oneself fluent in a language?  When one can negotiate everyday life?  Is it when you can speak as many words and sentences in the second language as your first language?  (3) How should one go about learning vocabulary?  By learning conversational words first?  Or by learning the most abstract, general words and then working toward the most concrete, specific words?  ---  1/12/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  When can you say you have learned a language fluently, even your own native language?  (1) When you can order Chinese food. (2) When you can curse and swear.  (3) When you can spin an idiom.  (4) When you can spot an idiot.  ---  11/23/2004

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Why speak?  What can be said?  What can be understood?  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Working language: the language type and level you use every day or most often.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  World.  Lack of common language and measuring system is holding back the development of worldwide journals and government.  Nationalism in all areas (academia, etc.) must go.  Stop writing nationalistic survey books ("Best of American Literature", etc.).  Make it world scope.  ---  11/02/1993

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  World.  One language for the whole world.  How much would it help political peace and scientific advancement?  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  World.  Universal language.  (1) Create a new one, or (2) Take the best words (concepts) from existing languages and combine them.  The latter is happening today anyway.  ---  07/08/1994

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  World.  Will the best of all languages be sifted out and melded together into one big world language?  This has been happening in English for years (bits of French, Latin, Greek, etc.).  ---  05/10/1997

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing combines the visual and linguistic.  Glyphs.  Runes.  Hieroglyphics.  Chinese pictograms.  Japanese pictograms.  ---  5/8/2002

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing systems.  (1) Alphabetic: symbol represents the sound.  Ex. cuneiform.  (2) Pictograms: symbol represents the thing.  Exs. hieroglyphics, Chinese, Japanese.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Calligraphy is a mix of pictorial and non-pictorial.  In the same way, handwriting and printed type fonts always mix elements of pictorial and non-pictorial.  ---  5/2/2002

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Handwritten letters are a stand-in for people.  They help us feel socially connected and thus help us stay in balance psychologically.  They are a stand-in for people.  And they last; they are tangible and enduring.  Also, they force the writer to organize their thoughts, and to make a stand on their thoughts.  (2) With the phone age that we are in, letters are seen as too arduous to write.  And handwritten letters are seen as too intimate to write in most cases.  Letters are also seen as a paper trail.  For these reasons, most people avoid writing to others, and they also end up avoiding writing notes to themselves.  (3) But the phone call is too ephemeral, it doesn't last.  It is easier to forget a phone call, and to drift away from your own and others thoughts.  Thus people end up drifting aimlessly, alone.  This is the negative side of phone calls.  The positive side of phone calls is closeness it brings for short durations.  But then comes the long duration of absence between calls.  ---  9/30/1996

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Historical development of writing in general, and the specific writing systems.  Mesopotamia, Egypt, China.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Importance of both reading and writing in the development of the individual and society.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  In five thousand years these words may be unintelligible to speakers of future-English, due to vocabulary changes.  These words have a freshness date.  If I could draw a picture instead perhaps it would last longer.  ---  3/16/2000

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Nature of the written word.  (1) Link of mind (thought) and spoken language.  Link of mind (thought) and written language.  (2) The thought of the thing is the primary symbol.  The spoken word is the secondary symbol.  The written word is the tertiary symbol.  Acronyms are quaternary symbols.  ---  5/2/2002

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Possible origins of English writing.  PART ONE.  The simplest line shapes are the straight line, the curve and the angle.  (1) The straight line: vertical, horizontal, forward slash, back slash.  (2) The right angle of "r", "L", "J" and "7".  (3) The curve of "U", "C", "n" and "backwards C?".  (4) The double curves of "m", "w", "3" and "E".     PART TWO. Straight lines are quicker and easier than shapes like curves and angles.  (1) "L", "F", "J" and "T" are similar in that they use staff and branch.  (2) Curve (facing left and right) and staff (pointing up and down): "p", "q", "b", "d".     PART THREE. 180 degree rotations: "A" and "V".  "M" and "W".  "E" and "3".  90 degree rotations: "I" and "H".  "S" and "Z" and "N" and "the opposite of N".  PART FOUR. If we have a circle letter "O" then why not have a square letter and a triangle letter?  If we have an "X" letter than why not have a "+" letter?  PART FIVE.  What can explain B, D, G, K, Q, R, Y?  What can explain 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9?  ---  5/24/2002

Sociology, communication, language.  ---  Writing.  Writing lets humans store and retrieve information.  (1) How did writing develop in humans?  From numerical tally marks.  From pictures.  One can suppose that language before writing was more fluid, dynamic and changing.  (2) What impact did writing and reading have on civilization?  ---  4/24/2005

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