Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

No more fun and games


2016-07-28 09.26.08I’ve been in Britain long enough to know most of the peculiar verbal overlaps between this country and my native USA, but I still tend to overlay the British words with their American meanings. So it was several years ago when I was told by my daughter’s Hebrew teacher “Today we’re going to be revising the alphabet”…

Of course, this sort of linguistic alienation can happen even within a country, in the intersection between different language registers. Thus, a number of years ago UC Berkeley put the legend “REFUSE ONLY” on its outdoor trash bins. When I saw this text, my immediate reaction was to read it as an absurdly formal version of the slogan “JUST SAY NO”.

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