16.5.13

The Cunning Linguist at Table

Da-da's always been interested in languages: what shapes 'em, what rules can be bent, how languages influence mindsets where they're spoken (language as software), etc. In one of Da-da's Russian language and literature classes, Da-da asked his Russian professor -- Professor V, a wonderful old Lithuanian man -- why Russian has no infinitives (e.g., "the"). For example, in English, one might point at a table and say:

"There is the table."

In Russian, you'd point at that same table and say:

"Table."

When asked why this was, Professor V looked at Da-da and said, very seriously: "It's too cold to mince words."



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