History Main / LanguageEqualsThought

21st May '16 9:11:19 AM TotemicHero
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* ''Webcomic/SlightlyDamned'' has the angelic language, which has no actual curse words. This gets played with when people are shown to attempt to curse in that language, the literal translation of which is...rather bizarre sounding.
--> '''Demon:''' <in Angelic> You may kiss my posterior, you son of an ugly woman.\\
'''Angel:''' <in Angelic> Wh-wha...I-I-how dare you! For such an uncouth remark, instead I will kick it!
20th May '16 12:33:25 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''{{In The Courts of the Crimson Kings}}''. The Martians don't have separate words for "pirate" and "police officer" or "ruler" and "tyrant".

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* ''{{In ''Literature/{{In The Courts of the Crimson Kings}}''. The Martians don't have separate words for "pirate" and "police officer" or "ruler" and "tyrant".
16th May '16 9:47:17 PM StrixObscuro
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* In ''Literature/TheNantucketTrilogy'', Swindapa Kurlelo is a brilliant mathematician and astronomer, but because of the way her people's language works (including the tendency for numeral words to also express ideas), her attempts to share her knowledge with English-speakers often results in her coming off as a CloudCuckoolander.

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* In ''Literature/TheNantucketTrilogy'', the ''Literature/NantucketTrilogy'', Swindapa Kurlelo is a brilliant mathematician and astronomer, but because of the way her people's language works (including the tendency for numeral words to also express ideas), her attempts to share her knowledge with English-speakers often results in her coming off as a CloudCuckoolander.
16th May '16 9:46:05 PM StrixObscuro
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* Subverted in [[JusticeLeagueofAmerica JLA]], in one issue of Creator/GrantMorrison's run. [[MadScientist Mad scientists]] T.O. Morrow and Dr. Ivo decide to find out which one of them is the better scientist by creating an android super-hero named Tomorrow Woman to invade the League and then destroy it. Morrow (in charge of the brain while Ivo was in charge of the body) deliberately leaves the word "freedom" out of her vocabulary. Despite this, when the time for her to destroy the JLA, she defies her very programming, making a HeroicSacrifice to save the other members of the JLA. When Superman asks her remains why she did that in the last seconds of her activation, she says [[IDieFree "word not present in vocabulary"]]. Showing his true character as a scientist (if a mad one) T.O. Morrow was so thrilled by his creation's transcendence of her programming that he didn't mind being arrested (though it's also likely that he's just happy that he "won" the dispute)

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* Subverted in [[JusticeLeagueofAmerica [[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueofAmerica JLA]], in one issue of Creator/GrantMorrison's run. [[MadScientist Mad scientists]] T.O. Morrow and Dr. Ivo decide to find out which one of them is the better scientist by creating an android super-hero named Tomorrow Woman to invade the League and then destroy it. Morrow (in charge of the brain while Ivo was in charge of the body) deliberately leaves the word "freedom" out of her vocabulary. Despite this, when the time for her to destroy the JLA, she defies her very programming, making a HeroicSacrifice to save the other members of the JLA. When Superman asks her remains why she did that in the last seconds of her activation, she says [[IDieFree "word not present in vocabulary"]]. Showing his true character as a scientist (if a mad one) T.O. Morrow was so thrilled by his creation's transcendence of her programming that he didn't mind being arrested (though it's also likely that he's just happy that he "won" the dispute)dispute.)



* In the WarrenEllis comic ''{{Comicbook/Ocean}}'', some scientists find alien life forms in suspended animation under the frozen ocean of Europa (one of Jupiter's moons). One of the scientists is trying to figure out their language before an automatic program wakes them up...and when he does, he finds that they have thousands of words for "[[OhCrap murder]]."

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* In the WarrenEllis Creator/WarrenEllis comic ''{{Comicbook/Ocean}}'', ''Comicbook/{{Ocean}}'', some scientists find alien life forms in suspended animation under the frozen ocean of Europa (one of Jupiter's moons). One of the scientists is trying to figure out their language before an automatic program wakes them up...and when he does, he finds that they have thousands of words for "[[OhCrap murder]].""
* In ''ComicBook/AstonishingXMen'', during the X-Men's trip to the Breakworld, their host Dafi at one point mentions that her people have no word for "hospital", because the concepts of mercy and compassion are entirely foreign to them.



* Brian Aldiss’s story “Confluence” (1967; repr. in his collection ''TheMomentOfEclipse'', Granada Panther, 1973) purports to be a dictionary giving English equivalents for codes representing the semantic units or “words” (sound plus posture) of the language of a recently contacted alien race. The story allows us to bring to consciousness a skill which we all have to some degree, that of forming ideas about a culture from the semantic structure of its vocabulary (as with the many synonyms for “kill” in Latin). The aliens have a word for “the struggle that takes place in the night between the urge to urinate and the urge to continue sleeping” (p. 98), a phenomenon familiar to us but for which we have no special word. We can deduce from the fact that they have a single word for both “a thinking machine that develops a stammer” and “the act of pulling on the trousers while running uphill” (p. 97) not only their level of technology and their style of dress, but also something about their attitude to their technology (like our attitude to our technology, a sort of helpless rage). We detect a more sinister aspect of their culture in the existence of a number of words, each carefully labelled “obsolete”, connected with a ceremony of eating one’s maternal grandfather.

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* Brian Aldiss’s story “Confluence” (1967; repr. in his collection ''TheMomentOfEclipse'', ''Literature/TheMomentOfEclipse'', Granada Panther, 1973) purports to be a dictionary giving English equivalents for codes representing the semantic units or “words” (sound plus posture) of the language of a recently contacted alien race. The story allows us to bring to consciousness a skill which we all have to some degree, that of forming ideas about a culture from the semantic structure of its vocabulary (as with the many synonyms for “kill” in Latin). The aliens have a word for “the struggle that takes place in the night between the urge to urinate and the urge to continue sleeping” (p. 98), a phenomenon familiar to us but for which we have no special word. We can deduce from the fact that they have a single word for both “a thinking machine that develops a stammer” and “the act of pulling on the trousers while running uphill” (p. 97) not only their level of technology and their style of dress, but also something about their attitude to their technology (like our attitude to our technology, a sort of helpless rage). We detect a more sinister aspect of their culture in the existence of a number of words, each carefully labelled “obsolete”, connected with a ceremony of eating one’s maternal grandfather.grandfather.
* In ''Literature/TheNantucketTrilogy'', Swindapa Kurlelo is a brilliant mathematician and astronomer, but because of the way her people's language works (including the tendency for numeral words to also express ideas), her attempts to share her knowledge with English-speakers often results in her coming off as a CloudCuckoolander.
16th May '16 9:08:12 PM portaljumper339
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** It is stated in the TV series that the Dothraki also have ten different words for "horse".
23rd Apr '16 4:36:35 AM Psyclone
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* Skullface's motives in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' stem primarily from his [[spoiler:and Zeroe's]] belief in this idea. As a child, he was made to forget his native tongue by foreign invading forces, and he claims to have felt his mind and personality change each time he was made to learn a new language. Because of this, he also seems to view English as an inherently violent, colonial language with certain politics attached to it - his way of dealing with these ideas, then, is to [[spoiler:breed and attempt to spread a parasite that kills the host if he/she speaks English, creating a world where the "only language" is that of nuclear warfare.]] The main reason he stopped working alongside Zero was him finding out that [[spoiler:Zero had similar ideas and wanted to "unite the world" by making it so that there were only a select number of languages that could be spoken.]]

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* Skullface's motives in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' stem primarily from his [[spoiler:and Zeroe's]] Zero's]] belief in this idea. As a child, he was made to forget his native tongue by foreign invading forces, and he claims to have felt his mind and personality change each time he was made to learn a new language. Because of this, he also seems to view English as an inherently violent, colonial language with certain politics attached to it - his way of dealing with these ideas, then, is to [[spoiler:breed and attempt to spread a parasite that kills the host if he/she speaks English, creating a world where the "only language" is that of nuclear warfare.]] The main reason he stopped working alongside Zero was him finding out that [[spoiler:Zero had similar ideas and wanted to "unite the world" by making it so that there were only a select number of languages that could be spoken.]]
23rd Apr '16 4:36:23 AM Psyclone
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* Skullface's motives in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' stem primarily from his [[spoiler:and Zeroe's]] belief in this idea. As a child, he was made to forget his native tongue by foreign invading forces, and he claims to have felt his mind and personality change each time he was made to learn a new language. Because of this, he also seems to view English as an inherently violent, colonial language with certain politics attached to it - his way of dealing with these ideas, then, is to [[spoiler:attempt to commit genocide against everyone who speaks English, creating a world where the "only language" is that of nuclear warfare.]] The main reason he stopped working alongside Zero was him finding out that [[spoiler:Zero had similar ideas and wanted to "unite the world" by making it so that there were only a select number of languages that could be spoken.]]

to:

* Skullface's motives in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' stem primarily from his [[spoiler:and Zeroe's]] belief in this idea. As a child, he was made to forget his native tongue by foreign invading forces, and he claims to have felt his mind and personality change each time he was made to learn a new language. Because of this, he also seems to view English as an inherently violent, colonial language with certain politics attached to it - his way of dealing with these ideas, then, is to [[spoiler:attempt [[spoiler:breed and attempt to commit genocide against everyone who spread a parasite that kills the host if he/she speaks English, creating a world where the "only language" is that of nuclear warfare.]] The main reason he stopped working alongside Zero was him finding out that [[spoiler:Zero had similar ideas and wanted to "unite the world" by making it so that there were only a select number of languages that could be spoken.]]
12th Apr '16 7:25:20 AM cdrood
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** In a previous episode, Lorien brought up this very trope, but used it in a ChickenOrTheEgg scenario.

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** In a previous episode, Lorien brought up this very trope, but used it in a ChickenOrTheEgg "Chicken or the Egg" scenario.
12th Apr '16 7:23:56 AM cdrood
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** In a previous episode, Lorien brought up this very trope, but used it in a ChickenOrTheEgg scenario.
--> '''Lorien''': Words have meaning and names have power. The universe begun with a word, you know. But which came first: the word or the thought behind the word? You can't create language without thought .. and you can't conceive a thought without language. So which created the other and, thus, created the universe?
2nd Apr '16 11:51:40 AM escamilla
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* ''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'': Keating insists that the student must use rich language. "Very tired" is strictly forbidden -- use "exhausted".

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* ''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'': Keating insists that ''Film/TheTimeMachine2002'': Mara, an Eloi woman living in the student must use rich language. "Very tired" year 802,701, is strictly forbidden -- use "exhausted".confused by the concept of "steal" and does not know the word, despite being [[EternalEnglish conversant in English]].



* In Creator/GeneWolfe's ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' the Ascians were only permitted to speak memorized phrases from Approved Texts. Anything else was not correct thought. Played out full throttle in the story told by Loyal to the Group of 17. This is slightly subverted, as Severian notes that Loyal to the Group of 17 is able to use the phrases to communicate meanings different from their original intention.

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* In Creator/GeneWolfe's ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' the Ascians were only permitted to speak memorized phrases from Approved Texts. Anything else was not correct thought. Played out full throttle in the story told by Loyal to the Group of 17. This is slightly subverted, Subverted, as Severian notes that Loyal to the Group of 17 is able to use the phrases to communicate meanings different from their original intention.



** Played straight with the D'regs. For one, that isn't their original name, but all their neighbors used the word for "enemy" and they adopted it out of pride. They use the same word for "stranger" and "target," mirroring how some Native American languages like Navajo or Apache use the same word for "foreigner" and "enemy." Oh, and their word for "freedom" is the same as their word for "fighting".

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** Played straight with the D'regs. For one, that isn't their original name, but all their neighbors used the word for "enemy" and they adopted it out of pride. They use the same word for "stranger" and "target," mirroring how some Native American languages like Navajo or Apache use the same word for "foreigner" and "enemy." Oh, and their Their word for "freedom" is also the same as their word for "fighting".



* This was first posed by Heinlein in his novella ''Literature/{{Gulf}}'', which featured a one-phoneme-per-concept "Speedtalk." It's extremely interesting and has been written about by tons and tons of linguists.

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* This was first posed by Heinlein in his novella ''Literature/{{Gulf}}'', which featured a one-phoneme-per-concept "Speedtalk." It's extremely interesting and has been written about by tons and tons of many linguists.



** A ''Star Wars Magazine'' article on Mandalorians claims they have no word for "hero" -- not because they have no concept of heroism, but because they take it for granted. The closest they come is the insult "hut'uun", which means "one who is not a hero". The article does claim "hero" means "prepared to die for your family and friends, or what you hold dear", which has [[CreatorProvincialism historically been most cultures]]' idea of [[HumansAreWarriors "dignified behavior"]], not "hero" (which tends to involve, as mentioned in the formula of many military honors, "above and beyond").

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** A ''Star Wars Magazine'' article on Mandalorians claims they have no word for "hero" -- not because they have no concept of heroism, but because they take it for granted. The closest they come is the insult "hut'uun", which means "one who is not a hero". The article does claim "hero" means "prepared to die for your family and friends, or what you hold dear", dear," which has [[CreatorProvincialism historically been most cultures]]' idea of [[HumansAreWarriors "dignified behavior"]], not "hero" (which tends to involve, as mentioned in the formula of many military honors, "above and beyond").



** Kzinti language contains numerous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register_%28sociolinguistics%29 registers]] (mislabeled "tenses") for interaction between different classes. Anything spoken in the Dominant Tense is automatically an insult (and anything in the Dominated Tense is an apology), and using the Imperative Tense[[note]]not the Ultimate Imperative Tense, mind you, just the regular one[[/note]] means "Obey instantly or be torn to pieces." Technically, registers aren't tenses, but [[CriticalResearchFailure doing the research]] on theoretical linguistics was a lot harder when there was no Internet.
** One story mentions that kzinti have no word for "peace" (they don't have coexisting equals, only masters and vassals) and that to many kzinti, the word "peace" actually means "human victory" because that's the only situation where people talk about it.

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** Kzinti language contains numerous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register_%28sociolinguistics%29 registers]] (mislabeled "tenses") for interaction between different classes. Anything spoken in the Dominant Tense is automatically an insult (and anything in the Dominated Tense is an apology), and using the Imperative Tense[[note]]not the Ultimate Imperative Tense, mind you, just the regular one[[/note]] means "Obey instantly or be torn to pieces." Technically, registers aren't Registers are not tenses, but [[CriticalResearchFailure doing the research]] on theoretical linguistics was a lot harder when there was no Internet.
** One story mentions that kzinti Kzinti have no word for "peace" (they don't have coexisting equals, only masters and vassals) and that to many kzinti, Kzinti, the word "peace" actually means "human victory" because that's the only situation where people talk about it.



*** As originally conceived, the Klingon language had no separate verb for "to be" -- Klingons having no need for a concept that refers to passive existence[[note]]A copula, in linguistic terms, as in "the grass is green". The word ''is'' has no role in that sentence, right?[[/note]]. Then some writer decided the Klingons needed to quote Shakespeare ...

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*** As originally conceived, the Klingon language had no separate verb for "to be" -- Klingons having no need for a concept that refers to passive existence[[note]]A copula, in linguistic terms, as in "the grass is green". The word ''is'' has no role in that sentence, right?[[/note]].[[/note]]. Then some writer decided the Klingons needed to quote Shakespeare ...
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