The List Which Cannot Be Named January 28, 2011Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Uncategorizable.
Like most of us old enough to be your grandfather, i have had many interesting acquaintances in my long life, some of them pen-pals. On an e-mail list which predates the Web and is still active, I recently read this gem. This is not the first brilliant thing I have heard here, but I just love these guys. This list is populated by scientists, authors, geeks and weirdoes, nearly all of whom I am proud to be virtually acquainted with and who have inspired me to greater heights of strangeness than most folk. S-T, this is for you.
Last night I was checking my answers to a crossword puzzle and decided to
look up an unfamiliar word, Dzongkha. Despite my having been in Bhutan, I never realized that its national language is Dzongkha, which is related to Sikkimese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzongkha. Further clicking led me to the factoid that Dzongkha is in the Sino-Tibetan family which includes Chinese,
Thai, and Laotian but not Vietnamese, which is in the Austro-Asiatic family.
I also learned that there are approx. 7,000 languages in the world, and that
adpero is the Amarakaeri word for cockroach. Amarakaeri is an official language of Peru, and it is in the Harakmbut family. The complete list of languages is here, together with links to dictionaries and other resources:
http://www.ethnologue.com/language_index.asp. Yikes! You can get lost in this. At least Coca-Cola is the same in all languages, a fact that must infuriate proponents of the other universal language, Esperanto.
Researching Esperanto, I found that it was the official language of only one
"country", the Republic of Rose Island, a 400 sq. meter platform built on
pylons off the coast of Italy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Rose_Island. That led me to this
page about other "micronations" – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation.
I could only find two examples of Esperanto humor:
1. A Monty Python-esque sketch called "The Book Is On The Table":
2. A joke: Two beginners meet on the street. "How long have you been
learning Esperanto?" asks the first. "About three weeks," answers the
second. "Really? How many books of poetry have you published?" (It must lose
something in the translation. A close variant is here, in Esperanto:
However, I also found a research paper called "Esperanto: The International
Language of Humor, or What’s Funny About Esperanto" from the International
Journal of Humor Research
(http://www.reference-global.com/doi/abs/10.1515/humr.1922.214.171.124) . It
costs $40.00 to access it. Now that’s funny! For free, you can read "Breaking ground in cross-cultural research on the fear of being laughed at (gelotophobia): A multi-national study involving 73 countries"
http://www.reference-global.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1515/HUMR.2009.012 which cites a recent study identifying 102 different reasons for being laughed at.
Or 103, if you include conducting such a study.
I think that’s enough work for one night.
Someday I will publish in this space other gems from this mine of Mind. Lucky you.