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Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax]

On Mon, Oct 20, 2003 at 12:23:04PM -0400, Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> on Mon, 20 Oct 2003 01:40:19PM +0200, David Jardine insinuated:

> > Depends what you mean by purity.  By European language standards
> > it's fairly pure in the sense of not being cluttered up with things
> > like redundant inflections, but this is probably because it is
> > impure in the sense of having been knocked around by neighbouring
> > languages and dialects until there's not much left of it apart from
> > what's really necessary to communicate.
> you're kidding, right?  if i read you right, you're stating that
> "there's not much left of [English] apart from what's really necessary
> to communicate"?  on the contrary -- it's one of the richest, least
> threadbare languages there is!

I wasn't kidding and I don't think you read me right.  I wasn't
talking about poverty - in fact I wasn't making any statements
about the language but simply trying to clear up a misunderstanding 
arising from the way people were using the word "purity".

How much you can communicate and with what precision you can 
communicate subtle differences is a question of the richness or 
poverty of a language.  How little redundancy such as gender 
agreement or vowel harmony etc is involved is what one of the 
posters meant by purity.


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