Author Topic: Episode #590  (Read 5821 times)

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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2016, 11:20:00 PM »
The podcast The History of the English Language does an excellent job of explaining how letter pronunciations arise. The reason is often very interesting and entertaining.
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Mark Twain

Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2016, 01:17:03 PM »
So for the Samhain example - it might sound like "sowan" or something to us, but one thing I remember from watching PBS one time is that there is an actual physical/developmental issue where you can't hear the distinction between some sounds that aren't distinct in the language you grow up speaking. 

Yep, we touched on this a few weeks ago:

This all reminds me of an anecdote a phonetics professor I worked with had about some Japanese people who came to visit. They asked him whether "drama" should be pronounced "durama" or "dorama". He responded that it was neither, just "drama". They then nodded their heads and were satisfied to note that it was "durama" after all. Their brains literally were not wired to be able to hear the "dr" sound the way a native speaker could. They filled in the "u" because in Japanese, it is very uncommon for there to be two consonants in a row. They literally could not perceive the difference. Supposedly you can learn to discriminate the sounds of another language to some extent, but it's quite difficult once you are no longer a kid.

You can actually see it "in action" in that thread, as we talked about some of the Dutch vowels. }|:op
It's also one of the reasons why non-native speakers often have easily discernible accents (though I'm sure some of that is also related to muscle control rather than perception).

Also, @Astronomianova, thanks for the additional info on the expansion of the universe piece. I think I need to brush up on my cosmology a bit.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 01:24:19 PM by werecow »

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2016, 01:51:23 AM »
I hear a similar thing when I hear people pronounce the name of a particular musician, podcaster and convention host as "Hurrab" rather than "Hrab". There is no vowel between the H and the R. But a lot of people don't seem to be able to cope with that.
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Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #48 on: November 07, 2016, 02:11:56 AM »
Could go for Rab and the h might appear by itself.

Offline gebobs

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2016, 03:43:05 PM »
I guess a Spanish person could equally ask why we all pronounce 'j' in a weird way?

I had a classmate in Spanish class who had previously studied French and German at the same time. The letter J gave her no end of grief in those earlier classes. People thought there was something wrong with her. I wonder how many languages she speaks now.

I was in Paris about two months ago. Let me give you a warning if you're going over there. Here's an example. Chapeau means hat. Oeuf means egg. It's like those French have a different word for everything. (Steve Martin)

Offline AtheistApotheosis

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2016, 02:38:10 PM »
Regarding exceptions to lying. Dr. Novella used the example of lying to protect Jews from the Nazis. He said no one would object to that. Unfortunately, there are. I was taught in the church I grew up in that lying is ALWAYS wrong, even to save a life. The example of the Nazis was used. Pretty messed up, I know.

Well, no moral person would do so.

Would that be Christian morality >:(, NAZI morality >:D, humanist morality ??? or moral relativist morality ::). I would say no ethical person would do so, but ideological and religious morals often deal in absolute black and white, no exceptions values. Morals are more about what is permitted and what is forbidden as a definition of right and wrong. Ethics are an attempt to define right and wrong on the preferred consequences :slapfight:, both long and short term. Ethics also tend to deal more in shades of grey :-\.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #590
« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2016, 03:41:26 PM »
J.M.O.: Lying to cause harm, to gain unfair advantage, to profit at another's expense, is morally wrong. Lying to AVOID causing unneeded harm or anguish, when there are no deleterious effects, is laudable, as is lying to protect someone from assault or bullying.

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck