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Thinking without language?

Leo Smith Who.cares at shaman.co.uk
Tue Jan 18 19:53:45 EST 2000

Paul Sampson wrote:

> gregh wrote in message <7DLg4.4926$3b6.23145 at ozemail.com.au>...
> > "Paul Sampson" ... wrote in message news:3883471c$1 at runswick.octacon.co.uk...
> >> Adrian Ian Skilling wrote in message <85v35b$5nn$1 at trog.dera.gov.uk>...
> >>> ... surely its obvious that it is
> >>> hard to express a concept or emotion that we don't have a word for. How
> >>> could it be any other way !!
> >> That's odd. I don't have a word for - and afaik *english* doesn't have a
> >> word for - the left testicle of an orang-utan born on any sunday in an
> >> odd numbered year of the fifteenth century BCE. So I suppose I'm unable
> >> to express such a concept. Oh dear. That's that then. Rats.

Don't be dumb. You have a whole sentence for it. Which serves. But what if that
Orang-Utan had a grobbulator dysfunction? How would you treat it?

> > Strange. Looks like you just DID express it. Sometimes it isnt a WORD but an
> > amalgamation of them that does the same job.
> Now I'm confused. Were you missing *my* irony, or am I now missing *yours*?
> Troubling. Very troubling. :)

I think its you that are missing it. What do you call something that doesn't have a

And nameless is not an acceptable answer. That is naming it.

> > .. [T]he emotion "love" is expressed
> > as a different thing by different people but we generally accept it to mean
> > a common thing but definitive concepts such as you expressed above have no
> > grey area.
> Oh I don't know though. We'd still have to agree on what was meant by the
> tag 'orang-utan', on the wisdom or appropriateness of the application of the
> term 'sunday' with reference to a period long before its present connotations
> obtain (did the concept of the 'seven day week' even exist then?). So whilst
> I imagine the concept of testicle to be reasonably robust over such a period,
> I believe there's still some scope for a little smallholding on the old grey
> acres. (I feel sure there must be a word for this kind of waffle. Discuss.)

Bollocks. Utter Bollocks. That's what we call it over here.

Playing with words, instead of meaning

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