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Isn't language loss a good thing, because fewer languages mean easier communication among the world's people? Perhaps, but it's a bad thing in other respects. Languages differ in structure and vocabulary, in how they express causation and feelings and personal responsibility, hence in how they shape our thoughts. There's no single purpose "best" language; instead, different languages are better suited for different purposes. For instance, it may not have been an accident that Plato and Aristotle wrote in Greek, while Kant wrote in German. The grammatical particles of those two languages, plus their ease in forming compound words, may have helped make them the preeminent languages of western philosophy. Another example, familiar to all of us who studied Latin, is that highly inflected languages (ones in which word endings suffice to indicate sentence structure) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. Our English word order is severely constrained by having to serve as the main clue to sentence structure. If English becomes a world language, that won't be because English was necessarily the best language for diplomacy.


Jared Diamond

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Yauch was great at lacking fear.
MICHAEL DIAMOND
I believed, up to last week, that Adam was somehow coming back. But I wouldn't trade that optimi...
MICHAEL DIAMOND
'I am,' I said
To no one there,
And no one heard at all.
NEIL DIAMOND
The sword was a very elegant weapon in the days of the samurai. You had honor and chivalry much like...
DUSTIN DIAMOND
Kind of unspoken, we both agreed to continue working and to get to the next stage, ... which was to ...
NEIL DIAMOND
They are going to pull out every trick in the book to get themselves re-elected. Beware of legislato...
RUSS DIAMOND
Instead of just giving us a tax break and putting the money back into the General Fund, we've got to...
RUSS DIAMOND
This is a great way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary and re-live the magic of THE BLUES BROTHERS on...
DAN DIAMOND
This has caused consternation over our candidates publicly and in the press. People have questioned ...
RUSS DIAMOND
It takes courage to overthrow your government.
RUSS DIAMOND
It's easy to run with no opponents.
RUSS DIAMOND
When there?s competition, the cream rises to the top. Pennsylvania is tired of the same old sour mil...
RUSS DIAMOND
Pennsylvania is tired of villains. We need heroes. These people are truly my heroes. They are dedica...
RUSS DIAMOND
Representing Australia as an Olympian at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta 1996 were the proudest moment...
MICHAEL DIAMOND
When we went for the pictures, we knew that this was going to be the first and only time that we wer...
AMANDA DIAMOND
I came back to performing with a different attitude about performing and myself. I wasn't expecting ...
NEIL DIAMOND
He's really likable and sincere, and he's very easy to be with. He certainly wasn't easygoing in the...
NEIL DIAMOND
You are the sun, ... I am the moon.
NEIL DIAMOND
Life is a series of lessons in which there is never enough learned.
DIAMOND RYAN
I'm already writing my Oscar speech.
MIKE DIAMOND
I'm left handed, but my dad taught me to play guitar right-handed.
DUSTIN DIAMOND
Thank you so much for coming back,
DAN DIAMOND
This beta version of AT&T Yahoo! Mail gives people a faster and more dynamic way to experience their...
ETHAN DIAMOND
Arouse the mind without resting it on anything
DIAMOND SUTRA
You teach people how to treat you by what you accept.
DIAMOND DRAKE
I think it's very fragile. I'm very worried.
LARRY DIAMOND
There are a lot of girls that will try to hook up with you, then try to have your kid because they f...
DUSTIN DIAMOND
It made me feel as if I was taking back some control over my life when everything else had been shak...
LUCY DIAMOND
I'm a shepherd, not a sheep, and I've always prided myself on being a leader and not a follo...
DUSTIN DIAMOND
The sport of shooting is my life.
MICHAEL DIAMOND
Honestly achieved results surpass all others.
MICHAEL DIAMOND
Sorry dude, but we're in a boxing match and you went against your word and tried to make me look...
DUSTIN DIAMOND
In America we believe in Life, Liberty - and the pursuit
AL DIAMOND
A penny saved is a penny wasted
AL DIAMOND
When we market this product, the way we approach it (is that) the ignition interlock is the best saf...
MICHAEL DIAMOND
Asia has more than twice as many severely deprived children as sub-Saharan Africa. This scale of chi...
MICHAEL DIAMOND
The will of the people will make 2006 a historic year.
RUSS DIAMOND
Leadership controlling it all is the biggest problem we have in Harrisburg. That makes (for) very fe...
RUSS DIAMOND
This is the last chance for those who are truly dedicated to changing government in Pennsylvania. On...
RUSS DIAMOND
Pennsylvania is tired of villains. We need heroes. I'm proud to bring you some of those heroes today...
RUSS DIAMOND
There are some races where we will introduce more than one candidate. In these races, we believe eac...
RUSS DIAMOND
We're in the middle of vetting potential candidates.
RUSS DIAMOND
I'm lucky. Hard work is the key, but luck plays a part.
NEIL DIAMOND
It's a clear signal that Pennsylvanians have awoke from their long slumber.
RUSS DIAMOND
"I am," I said To no one there And no one heard at all Not even the chair "I am," I cried "I am," sa...
NEIL DIAMOND