Subject: Re: On comparing apples and oranges (was: Q: on hashes and counting)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 27 Oct 2000 00:24:33 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Duane Rettig <>
| English is weird :-)

  It's the most fascinating language of all, if you ask me.  The only
  way to master it is to make up your own rules as you observe what is
  correct or appropriate usage and what is not.  It's the language you
  can only master if you appreciate chaos and complexity.  This is how
  humans learn languages naturally.  Many other languages have somwhat
  of a "Scheme nature": Designed to fit some predetermined scheme or
  even be _built_ using rules.  Imposed rules are fragile.  Rules that
  we come to understand are _not_ fragile, because they don't try to
  over-extend themselves or even pretend to be universal.  Many small
  rules (more like interrelated similarities) that have no exceptions
  (because what is not similar is not covered) are _so_ superior to
  the rules that have exceptions and no rule to the exceptions, which
  means you have to base your understanding on grouping similirities,
  anyway, so dispense with the imposed rules, already.

  I personally believe the language English was a necessary condition
  for the rise of individual rights and democracy.  The other European
  languages are still class-oriented, very rigid and rule-based, and
  are used oppressively by the governments that back correct usage of
  these languages.  Ironically, English has been far more stable over
  much longer periods of time than these class-controlled languages,
  which are, obviously, subject to political mood swings as different
  classes demand recognition, despite the idea that government control
  over the languages lead to stability.

#:Erik, digressing, again...
  I agree with everything you say, but I would
  attack to death your right to say it.
				-- Tom Stoppard