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Ye@H-YeP! ambiguous fun in language! (was Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Saturday, December 8, 2001, 7:57
In a message dated 07.12.2001 06:12:09 PM, Patrick Dunn
(tb0pwd1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU) quotes poor, baffled Su Cheng Zhong and writes
most eloquently:

>> Answer: I think every language has some where >> ambiguous. It's better improve it, not leave it alone. >> Su Cheng Zhong > >Why? Ambiguity is a good thing. It makes possible word play, which makes >possible poetry. > >Take Chinese, for example. One of the most annoying things about Chinese >is the writing system (at least, for those of us learning the langauge >as a second or third language). Yet it's this very frustrating, illogical, >seemingly random writing system that gives rise to much of the power of >Chinese poetry, which is what -- for me -- makes the language worth >learning. > >Ambiguity in language is not a flaw, and all languages with ambiguities >can avoid them if necessary. If you manage to remove ambiguity, you >create a language incapable of playful poetry, and therefore -- to my >mind, at least -- devoid of fun. >
Took the words right outta my mouth & written much better than my "version." ::bows to Patrick Dunn:: Points to possibly ponder: 1> If a language doesn't have "fun" and "playfulness" either built into it somehow or latent in its ambiguity, how long will it last? I have always felt that if a language is resistant to wordplay, neologisms and borrowings, that language is possibly cutting it's own throat. (Also IMHO any language that allows large numbers of neologistic words & compound words to be copyrighted seems to me "less free" as well). 2> ConLangs that have high amounts of "fun" & "strangeness" seem to be much more attractive to peeps - & not just us conlanging peeps - than something totally cut-&-dried "logical" & "scientific." Chaos is a strange attractor ;) esp'ly creative chaos... it can actually help in the language-learning process to have odd lexical & grammatical & even phonological "aberrations" - to have something for the mind to "toy" with, or something for the mind to chew on, or spin... *gigglabyte* idioms and metaphors (coming to think of it, IMHO certain auxlanger claims of "scientific logic" or "mathematical precision" in their auxlangs are - in an extended sense - idiomatic ... possibly rooted in a mainly elitist/educated Eurocentric cultural viewpoint). Patrick, can I quote this eventually on my website (when I have a website)? You will have credit (& if you so desire a link to your website - if you have one... I can't remember if you do or not). czHANg, who had too much "fun" [ok, "mischief"] in AuxLang land to be tolerated... & is simply glad to be here ::tip o' the hat to all on this list, even the utterly-confused-&-confusing Su Cheng Zhong::


Patrick Dunn <tb0pwd1@...>