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Re: Vocabulary concept mismatches

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, March 8, 2004, 14:44
On Sun, Mar 07, 2004 at 04:30:07PM -0600, Herman Miller wrote:
> H. S. Teoh wrote:
> >I got the idea of correlatives from Attic Greek. I found it very > >eye-opening to learn languages like Greek and delve a little into ancient > >Greek culture. I got a lot of new ideas just by the realization that many > >aspects of ancient Greek culture are that way simply because they looked > >at things differently, in their own particular way. Once you adopt that > >mindset, you discover a whole new world of hitherto unknown or unfamiliar > >concepts. > > Is this particular to Attic Greek, or would you find that sort of thing > in Homer? I don't know much about ancient Greek, but I think it's the > sort of thing it'd be good to learn if I ever had the time.
I don't know much about Homer, unfortunately. I only took one class in Attic Greek, and have an occasional interest in the history of the area, but beyond that, I'm quite ignorant. Nevertheless, that one class did open up a lot of things to me. One amusing example is the etymology of the English word "idiot", which (apparently) came from _idiwte:'s_, which meant "private citizen". Now "private citizen" may sound like nothing to you or me, but the Greek mindset at the time was that if you were anybody at all, you were either an athlete preparing to compete in the Games, or you were joining the army to defend the country. But a *private citizen*? What an idiot! :-P
> >That's why I found that having a con-culture helps a lot. Sometimes a > >novel idea just suggests itself based on how I think a Bisédi would would > >look at a certain concept or thing. It's like colored glasses with which I > >can filter concepts and ideas that go into the lexicon. Sometimes you can > >see entirely new objects with the colored glasses beyond what you > >originally had in mind. > > That's pretty much the reason that Tirelat is a Sangari language now > that Lindiga has replaced it as a personal language. Now if I could only > find those colored glasses that filter out the red and let me see the > ultraviolet, I'd be all set! :-)
lol... now my reference to colored glasses was more than merely cursory, as the name of the Ebisédian con-world is _PeroK0'rumi_ [p_h&r`o"k_hArumi], "universal color" or "color universe". Colors are blindingly bright there; the Ebisédi find the Terran universe dreadfully dark, dull, and grey. Even the Ebisédi themselves, when they visit our world, fluoresce with flashing rainbow colors.
> Interestingly, I've been finding similarities between the Sangari and > Zireen ways of thinking, despite the apparent differences in the way > their cultures work. It's true that Sangari cultures are more > authoritarian while Zireen cultures are more anarchistic, but under the > surface they have a lot in common.
Now one thing I always had trouble with is working out the political structure of Ebisédi culture. I could never get beyond the most general sketches without running into contradictions. Perhaps I just have to accept that Ebisédi society just doesn't work the way Terran societies do. T -- Some people complain about the Instant Gratification Syndrome of today's generation, and just *can't wait* to let everyone know that.