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Times review of Steven Pinker's new book "The Stuff of Thought"
Thread poster: xxxsofiablu
Local time: 16:09
Oct 25, 2007

Hi fellow Prozians, I thought you might be interested in this:

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
Turkish to English
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Thanks Oct 26, 2007

Thanks. I want to get the book.

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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:09
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Thank you Oct 26, 2007

I really enjoyed it, very interesting! It is strange indeed to know how our brain makes up sentences in a way rather than the other. Cheers Po'!

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ICL  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:09
English to Spanish
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Swearing.... Oct 26, 2007


There is one part of the review of this book that caught my attention:

But why perfectly common words should be taboo — unutterable in certain social contexts — is another mystery, and the forbidden words differ widely across languages. In Djirbal, an Australian aborigine language, every word is taboo when spoken in the presence of mothers-in-law and certain cousins. A special vocabulary is needed for these relatives.

I think you don't have to go as far as Australian aborigines to find examples of this in our daily communication. For instance, when I lived in the USA, I remember that the "polite" thing when children were present was to swear (if you "had" to) using equivalents. For example, say "the F word", instead of F**** (oops, I just censored myself ).

Anyways, the book sounds really interesting.

Thanks for sharing,


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Times review of Steven Pinker's new book "The Stuff of Thought"

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