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2023-11-04 17:06:59

There are any number of theories to account for how language began. The theories have names that seem almost to be begging ridicule — the Bow-Wow theory, the Ding-Dong theory, the Pooh-Pooh theory, the Yo-He-Ho theory—and they are generally based in one way or another on the supposition that languages come ultimately from spontaneous utterances of alarm, joy, pain, and so on, or that they are somehow imitative, onomatopoeic of sounds in the real world. Thus, for instance, the Welsh word for owl, gwdihw pronounced “goody-hoo,” may mimic the sound an owl makes.
There is, to be sure, a slight tendency to have words cluster around certain sounds. In English we have a large number of words pertaining to wetness: spray, splash, spit, sprinkle, splatter, spatter, spill, spigot. And we have a large number of fl- words to do with movement: flail, flap, flicker, flounce, flee. And quite a number of words ending in -ash describe abrupt actions: flash, dash, crash, bash, thrash, smash, slash. Onomatopoeia does play a part in language formation, but whether it or any other feature alone can accounts for how languages are formed is highly doubtful.
It is intriguing to see how other languages hear certain sounds — and how much better their onomatopoeic words often are. Dogs go oua-oua in France, bu-bu in Italy, mung-mung in Korea, wan-wan in Japan; a purring cat goes ron-ron in France, schnurr in Germany; a bottle being emptied goes gloup-gloup in China, tot-tot-to in Spain; a heartbeat is doogan-doogan in Korea, doki-doki in Japan; bells go bimbam in Germany, dindan in Spain. The Spanish word for whisper is susurrar. How could it be anything else?
(Bill Bryson, Mother Tongue, 2. The Dawn of Language)
2023-11-22 20:24:17

Yes, I have been following local news on the #RainbowBridge explosion outside #Buffalo.
No, my information is no better than yours.
Please do not make assumptions.
Handy list of how to treat coverage:

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook.
1. In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
2. Don't trust anonymous sources.
3. Don't trust stories that cite another news outlet as the source of the information.
4. There's almost never a second shooter.
5. Pay attention to the language the media uses. “We are receiving reports” could mean anything. “We are seeking confirmation” means they don't have it. “[News outlet] has learned” means it has a scoop or is going out on a limb.
6. Look f…
2023-09-22 14:30:23

Not knowing whom to trust or what a person might do next means living in a constant state of vigilance, like the soldiers who work on bomb-disposal teams. Imagine going through life in that heightened, hypervigilant state of alert, wary of every person, every object. If your neurological system is constantly on heightened alert, how can you pay attention to anything else? It's exhausting. It becomes difficult to function. All of your energy is focused on merely keeping your defenses up.
Some people with autism have almost the opposite challenge. These individuals may move and react more slowly than others and appear less alert. Their feelings are often more difficult to read because their facial expressions do not vary much. Being a low state of arousal is like walking around in a nonfocused, drowsy condition. Professionals refer to these individuals as having a "low arousal bias." Because they display fewer problem behaviors, they appear to be better regulated and are often thought of as well-behaved. Does that mean they don't experience anxiety? Not necessarily. When they feel dysregulated, these individuals tend to internalize their anxiety rather than directing their behavior outward. The anxious feelings build over time, with few observable, or only very subtle, signs of anxiety or dysregulation, so outbursts or meltdowns can be difficult to predict.
(Barry M. Prizant, PhD, "Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism")