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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologies and the awful German language....

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Chris Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2008 12:50:32 -0600 (CST)
Message-id: <alpine.OSX.1.00.0801081241000.1485@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Tue, 8 Jan 2008, Peter F Brown wrote:
> No-one captures it better than Mark Twain:
> "Surely there is not another language that is so slipshod and
> systemless, and so slippery and elusive to the grasp. One is washed
> about in it, hither and thither, in the most helpless way; and when at
> last he thinks he has captured a rule which offers firm ground to take
> a rest on amid the general rage and turmoil of the ten parts of
> speech, he turns over the page and reads, 'Let the pupil make careful
> note of the following exceptions.'"    (01)

IANAL*, but it seems to me Twain confuses complexity with lack of
systematicity.  There is *complexity* in German due to the combinatorial
explosion of rules generated by genders and cases.  But the rules
themselves, jointly, strike me as exceedingly systematic.    (02)

Chris Menzel    (03)

*I Am Not A Linguist :-)    (04)

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