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Jett Superior laid this on you on || July 9, 2008 || 9:14 am

I *told* you bastards that my cursing has a cause AND a purpose!

But despite the seemingly atavistic roots of cursing, the sounds themselves are composed of English words and are pronounced in full conformity with the sound pattern of the language. It is as though the brain were wired in the course of human evolution so that the output of an old system for calls and cries were patched into the input of the new system for articulate speech.

// Steven Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

This book has been great nerdy fun. I usually have three or four books concurrently running as reading material, but I didn’t set this one aside for anything else until I’d bounced from one side of the cover to the other. I think I may have even spooned with it one night.

I reckon I’ll look into Pinker’s other titles, as well.

3 worked it out »

  1. redclay 7.9.2008

    i save cussin for the last resort.

    when i bite down i want some juice left.

     
  2. redclay 7.10.2008

    ” I was immediately drawn to her. I liked the way she moved. I know how men will say this, to describe the womanly affect they find ineffable. I am as guilty as them all. There is a hurt that pinches your throat or chest when you look. But even before I took measure of her face and her manner, the shape of her body, her indefinite scent, all of which occurred so instantly anyway, I noticed how closely I was listening to her. What I found was this: that she could really speak. At first I took her as being exceedingly proper, but I soon realized she was executing the language. She went word by word. Every letter had a border. I watched her full wide mouth sweep through her sentences like a figure touring a dark house, flicking on spots and banks of perfectly drawn light.

    The sensuality, in certain rigors”

    “Native Speaker”, by Chang-Rae Lee

     
  3. john 7.18.2008

    Pinker is a good read. Unfortunately I lent out my copy of How the Mind Works about a decade ago to a friend and have not heard from him since so I’ve relied on the library for his other stuff. His “History of Violence” talk on TED is great (there are a lot of cool talks on that site BTW).

    He’s one of my favorite science writers next to Edward O. Wilson ( his book Consilience is amazing) and Jared Diamond, whose book Guns, Germs, and Steel is a real classic.

    I’m starting to think of others, but I’ll stop now.

     

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