Saturday, December 31, 2011

words rated for emotional content

In these billions of words is not a view of any individual's state of mind. Instead, like billions of moving atoms add up to the overall temperature of a room, billions of words used to express what people are feeling resolve into a view of the relative mood of large groups.
These billions of words contain everything from "the" to "pancakes" to "suicide." To get a sense of the emotional gist of various words, the researchers used a service from Amazon called Mechanical Turk. On this website, they paid a group of volunteers to rate, from one to nine, their sense of the "happiness" -- the emotional temperature -- of the ten thousand most common words in English. Averaging their scores, the volunteers rated, for example, "laughter" at 8.50, "food" 7.44, "truck" 5.48, "greed" 3.06 and "terrorist" 1.30.



Some common normative terms are: ought; duty; obligation; permissible; and forbidden. When applied to actions, appropriate and inappropriate are normative terms. [Note that not all NORMATIVE terms are MORAL terms. For example, ought can be used in a NON-MORAL, PRUDENTIAL sense, as in: One ought to eat nutritious foods.]

Simple, but maybe not all that original. The colors white and black have carried layers of moral meaning since long before Americans’ infatuation with cowboys and automobiles. Indeed, some scientists believe that our conception of blackness and sin may be entangled with a fundamental and ancient fear of dirt and contagion that remains deeply wired in our neurons today.

D - Europe's debt crisis is referred to overtly as a contagion. I guess an analogy of flames and firewalls was not incendiary enough.


A connotation is a commonly understood subjective cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the word's or phrase's explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation.
A connotation is frequently described as either positive or negative, with regards to its pleasing or displeasing emotional connection. For example, a stubborn person may be described as being either strong-willed or pig-headed; although these have the same literal meaning (stubborn), strong-willed connotes admiration for the level of someone's will (a positive connotation), while pig-headed connotes frustration in dealing with someone (a negative connotation).

D - Greta Vosper generated 2 sets of words for the Church. The 1st was positive (community, hope) and the other negative (judgement - even salvation I think - it implies the need for saving).

Compare denomination, sect and cult.
There is a hidden soc-psy appeal to popularity.

Or religious person versus atheist.
Contrast with atheistic person and religionist.
Only 1 side gets to be a person.

Friday, December 30, 2011

kids don't classify world in words

"But for children, words are just another feature among many to consider when they're trying to classify an object."
For example, suppose that someone you trust shows you an object that looks like a pen and says that it is a tape recorder, Sloutsky said.
Your first reaction might be to look at the pen to see where the microphone would be hidden, and how you could turn it on or off.
"You might think it was some kind of spy tool, but you would not have a hard time understanding it as a tape recorder even though it looks like a pen," Sloutsky said. "Adults believe words do have a unique power to classify things, but young children don't think the same way."
The results suggest that even after children learn language, it doesn't govern their thinking as much as scientists believed.

D- maybe has to do with when they develop linear historical memory?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a dissenting view- the anglosphere. a book.

Author of the 2010 best-selling The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, Mr. Kotkin is singularly optimistic in his latest assessment of a world in which the anglosphere appears to be in truculent decline. The U.S. and Britain, after all, are experiencing serious crises of confidence. Now, in The New World Order, a study published in November by the London-based Legatum Institute, Mr. Kotkin and nine academic associates conclude that the anglosphere will remain the ascendant player on the world stage for a long time to come.


D - there will be a time lag between when the BRIC group achieves parity the USA / UK and when English gets dislodged as the lingua franca of our time.
But Latin and French both went the way of the dodo, so there is no reason to believe that eventually English will retain its pre-eminence.

Though I'd point out that English is widely used in India to bypass partisan local language agendas.

Listening to the radio, I have been noticing a trend toward a more regular 'international' English, even within my English speaking Canada. This mostly entails the use of more regular plural nouns and past tense verbs.

I was thinking about how we structure questions. Do- (et al). Whereas we don't say I DO (et al), except for emphasis. E.g. Do I close the door? I close the door.
Whereas in the future and past forms, the interrogative is more obvious.
I did close the door. Did I close the door?
I will close the door. Will I close the door?
Ultimately, the accomodations to English to make it more accessible to foreigners has been pretty superficial.

In Canada, we have this problem that we import highly qualified immigrants, but then refuse to provide them with the 1 year work experience in their field required for them to recertify here. This is an inane policy and one that greatly upsets new immigrants.
D - this is the typical knee-jerk uninformed reaction from red-necks.

I volunteered for improv "Coming to Canada" skits with new young immigrants, and this complaint was frequently heard. Having said that, well, English IS a job skill and being able to communicate clearly IS a prerequisite of most jobs. Sadly English is devilishly tricky in the details. I suspect the first nation (or region or whatever) that adopts a well designed IAL will end up with a strong competitive edge. Note that I said well designed...

“We’re losing out,” said Jane Allen, partner and chief diversity officer at Deloitte. “We’re making our productivity situation worse by not capitalizing on the skills that new immigrants are bringing.”

Canada’s labour productivity – a measure of what the economy produces in each hour of work – is often criticized for lagging that of other industrialized countries. It has increased by an average annual rate of 0.5 per cent since early 2005 versus 2.1 per cent in the United States.

While some professional associations have started streamlining the recognition of foreign credentials, much work lies ahead since there are more than 440 regulatory bodies in Canada. As a result, Deloitte found there is a growing fear among progressive companies that Canada is going to lose workers to other countries if these systemic problems are not corrected.


Currently, Canada is known as a country with a broad immigration policy which is reflected in Canada's ethnic diversity. According to the 2001 census by Statistics Canada, Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, of which 10 have over 1,000,000 people and numerous others represented in smaller amounts. 16.2% of the population belonged to visible minorities: most numerous among these are South Asian (4.0% of the population), Chinese (3.9%)...

D - whoever implements a well-planned IAL policy first should manage a great increase in workplace productivity.

Monday, December 19, 2011

BRIC to surpass the First World nations

God I hate you Google. Your blog interface is broken.

D - image is economic growth in Billions.

Brazil, China and India trade places with the various Western powers.
Collectively their clout will match the "First World" by 2030.
That means I need to focus on Urdu, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese... and Portuguese.
And English.

I'm reading a book called "The Rise and Fall of Empires" by Kennedy right now.
Very illuminating. It does make me think Canada needs to focus on productivity and economic growth more than it is presently.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dothraki language designer from Game of Thrones

Next, Mr. Peterson tried to establish words that would be native and basic (meaning they are not derived from another Dothraki word), toying with letter combinations and sounds he liked. His favorite sound is "JH" as in "genre," so he made the word for man in Dothraki mahrazh.


After he amassed a small vocabulary, Mr. Peterson tested out basic grammar. He adored the 18 noun classes in Swahili and the negative verb forms in Estonian, both influences in his created languages. He scribbled sample sentences and added suffixes and prefixes to expand the vocabulary.

He aims to eventually expand Dothraki to around 10,000 words - or about the equivalent of college-level foreign language proficiency.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 words you did not know were ono(mutter)

Cliche. (alt-0233 for accent)

What it means:

A trite and overused phrase. Like "A dark and stormy night" or "Time heals all wounds" or "Did you drink all my nail polisher remover?"

What the hell is it supposed to sound like?

The forging of a metal printing press plate.

Read more: 10 Common Words You Had No Idea Were Onomatopoeias |