September 16th, 2004


NSL [for chachachana]

The Beeb has a story about Nicaraguan Sign Language.

[update: it's got the Beeb's usual pigheadedness when it comes to reporting on language issues:

Some people in the extreme "nature" camp believe that grammar is essentially hard-wired in the brain, while those in the extreme "nurture" camp think language has no innate basis and is just culturally transmitted.

It has been difficult to clear up the argument,...

This is so not a good way to frame the "debate". There isn't a debate, you idiots. Nobody's in either of those camps; they're straw men! ... I wish they'd assign somebody who'd taken a class in linguistics -- or rhetoric -- to do this reporting.

I might add that the Wikipedia article is not at all guilty of this pitiful attempt to sex up the story through weak rhetoric (false dichotomy) and weak reporting "some people believe". Another victory for the worker's paradise of information. ]

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How to succeed at Globalization

exterra just got me a surprise present: How to Succeed at Globalization.

It's a comic-book history of capitalism and globalization, written by a popular Mexican political cartoonist. In spirit, it reminds me of The History Book (link points to a review of what seems to be a film adaptation), which I used to read when I was a kid, and I still have a copy of (it seems to be out of print, though).

I could never imagine seeing this from an American political cartoonist -- Toles, for example, would get blacklisted so fast...

Reading list
Ladefoged, chapters 3-5.
tsenft's thesis, chapter 2.