1. I don’t know much about Chinese, but I do wonder whether a writing system that has been around for so long can be considered somehow less conducive to certain types of thought than other forms of writing. I suppose it’s possible–it’s an intriguing proposition.

    Way back when, I took a few classes in Japanese and learned a few of the Chinese characters used in that language. I’ve often thought pictogam- or ideogram-based writing is, if nothing else, a more efficient form of writing than a phonetic alphabet: you see a single character and immediately get a whole idea.

    Having said all that, there’s no denying the connection between words/vocabulary and the ability to think. In the U.S., we need only look around us, at the fruit of what Dr. Farrell so aptly calls “Amairikuhn Edgykayshun.”

    We’re moving further and further from writing, spelling, and reading actual words to communicating in pictures. Has anyone else noticed the trend toward communicating in strings of emoticons on smartphones, or toward websites with little more than picture of gears, speech bubbles, and logos to click on? It looks like the future of English is some kind of childlike cartoon writing.

    1. I would prefer Chinese ideograms (or even Egyptian hieroglyphics) to some of the allegedly “intuitive” icons used on lots of appliances and devices.

  2. marcos toledo

    One problem English is a dead language it was killed in 1066AD when the Northmen(Normans) won the battle of Hasting. Chinese is still alive and is still being spoken and written.

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