Friday, April 3, 2015

Sapir-Whorf Refuted

          Sapir-Whorf Refuted

          I have heard claims that there was no word for “blue” in Ancient Greek. This raises the question, following the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, if the Greeks actually experienced the color blue, under that azure Mediterranean sky.
There are many vivid experiences lacking words. Consider your stomach; when there is food in it, you are “full”; when there is no food in it, you are “hungry”. These are fine and short words. Now consider your bladder and your colon. When these are full, you are what? When they are empty, you are what? These feelings are vivid, intimate, urgent and felt by all, but I know no words for them!
My urologist says that the condition of having a full colon is called “tenemus”. That’s a noun, but he doesn’t know a corresponding adjective. Also it refers to the condition, not the feeling.
I propose the following; bladderful, bladdervoid, colonful, colonvoid. Those are the ‘polite’ and abstract words; their ‘rude’ and earthy synonyms are pissful, pissless, shitful, shitless. This 2x2x2 word-cube possesses both mathematical regularity and poetic musicality; I offer it to you for free. Use it in good health.
These words did not exist before now; yet they denote universal experiences. Thus I refute the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis.

Anyone who heard or read [these words] would know instantly what you meant, and would likely also consider them vulgar, possibly rude, if not obscene.

Good! Then they’re doing their job!
I hope the bladder- and colon- versions will find polite acceptance; but the piss- and shit- versions come more trippingly off the tongue.
Shitful does indeed function as a rude insult; full of shit. So does pissful; full of piss, and vinegar. But then are pissless and shitless compliments? No shit!
This all makes me thoughtful; but now that I’ve told you, I feel thoughtless!

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