Subject: Re: PART TWO: winning industrial-use of lisp:  Re: Norvig's latest paper on Lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 20:55:31 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Thomas Bushnell, BSG
| One of the delights of reading Chaucer--Middle English--for me, is that in
| that older language, "he" and "she" are normal pronouns for various inanimate
| objects; a thing that we have only a few survivals of in Modern English, and
| those are rapidly fading (ships, nations, etc.)

  Espen Vestre mentioned the curious concoction some Norwegians write (it is
  not spoken) called "New Norwegian" ("nynorsk"), and its users have this
  disturbing habit (grammatical rule, really) of referring to inanimate objects
  with their genderful pronouns.  If "key" is masculine, you refer to your key
  as "he".  If "spoon" is feminine, you refer to it as "she".  This weirds me
  out.  Real Norwegian does not even _have_ a feminine gender, but of course
  has feminine pronouns.  Consequently, we have "den" for masculine and "det"
  for neutral grammatical gender, and "han" and "hun" respectively for sex.  It
  does indeed make translation from "New" to real Norwegian difficult, but then
  again, the irrelevant minority who cannot bother to write real Norwegian is
  soon to be extinct, anyway, as "New Norwegian" is more likely to be English a
  few years from now.  Case in point: at the New Norwegian national conferences
  they are more concerned with expressing their support for Palestinian terror
  than anything remotely related to their language, so it is not unlike the
  politically correct and equally radical gratuitous changes to English, except
  it was started a long time ago by a nutcase who protested the government's
  language and who was not stopped in time, and it has remained a protestor's
  language ever since.  (And we are only 4.5 million people.  It is such a
  goddamn waste, and yet it may explain something about my getting pissed off
  by people who are unable to deal with arbitrary decisions and just move on.)
  Guide to non-spammers: If you want to send me a business proposal, please be
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