Monday, 13 June 2011

The problem of language solved and the bill presented to the last person to waltz in Berlin

I'm posting a little early this week for a few reasons.  Mainly because my download of the entire run of The Goon Show has finally finished and I plan to overdose on old radio shows, which goes to show that Pirate Bay is used for more than getting the latest wobbly hand cam version of the Russian dub of "The girl with the dragon tattoo that kicked over the hornets nest and then had a nice cup of tea"

I'll also be looking around the area to see what they can offer in the way of graphic design courses although I'm probably going to have to do the papers by correspondence course as I have done the math and it would mean spending 84 hours a week awake and functioning! [1]


I present to you the real topic of this post.  Namely that the problem of language has been solved!

One of our local politicos has managed to get into the papers by suggesting that it should be a requirement that all teachers should be fluent in Te Reo Maori. Much of his argument is that educators should know how to interact with local tribes on a cultural standing which is something that I can understand since if you're operating in murky waters it's all too easy to put a foot wrong.

The best example of this that I can think of is this one from back in 2006:

A Maori cultural performer who headbutted a Dutch tourist during a traditional welcome is unapologetic about the attack which left his victim with a broken nose and two black eyes. Speaking after being sentenced in court yesterday, Richard Minarapa Mitai-Ngatai said the victim had laughed during the "sacred" ceremony.

 "He was disrespecting my culture that I love, a culture I am proud to be a part of," Mitai-Ngatai said  "I don't apologise for what I did. But I do apologise for hurting a man. What I did was serious. I do know I am lucky I am not in jail because of it." 

The 40-year-old was ordered to do 150 hours' community service in the Rotorua District Court for the November 24 attack on Dutch tourist Johannes Scheffers.
Mitai-Ngatai had admitted assaulting Mr Scheffers during a welcome for a 160-strong tour party to the marae at the Tamaki Tours village, about 25km south of Rotorua.
He told the Herald he was angry that Mr Scheffers smirked and looked about during his wero (challenge) to the group.    The tourist was one of the nominated "chiefs" for the welcome and had been told laughter or humour would be disrespectful.   Mitai-Ngatai said he called to the group's tour-guide in Maori urging him to take Mr Scheffers out of the front row, but this did not happen. 

Judge Chris McGuire said while he was swayed by the "glowing references" for Mitai-Ngatai and accepted the feeling he held for his culture, it was important that tourists knew they were safe when they visited.

"This was manuhiri [visitors] from the other side of the world who had paid to experience some of the richness of the culture we in this region are so proud of. Manuhiri must know when they come to Rotorua they are going to be safe."

The case was a tragedy for Mitai-Ngatai, who had no previous convictions, and his family.

The judge said there were conflicting reports about Mr Scheffers' facial expression. Police had claimed Mr Scheffers merely had a nervous grin during part of the ceremony when Mitai-Ngatai moved upwards into Mr Scheffers' face from a kneeling position.

This sent him "backwards with blood ejecting from his nose", the judge said.
Judge McGuire said the sentence was mitigated by by Mitai-Ngatai's remorse, his early guilty plea, and his almost immediate attempts to apologise.   Mitai-Ngatai's lawyer, Bill Lawson, requested a discharge without conviction. He was completing the restorative justice process. The incident had cost him an almost 17-year career as senior cultural adviser, along with his wife, at Tamaki Tours. 

Mitai-Ngatai said he was asked to leave by Mike and Doug Tamaki shortly after the court case began.  His near-10-year job as complex manager at the Tamaki Tours Village also ended.  He said tour operators should ensure that guides tell visitors what to expect and remove people who acted inappropriately during ceremonies.

Coming back to present day the problem is that because our politico friend stated that teachers should be FORCED to learn Te Reo Maori nobody is taking him seriously, except for the the ones that bother to listen to him. [2]
One of the people that took the suggestion seriously rang up the early morning radio shows that they put on for insomniacs to complain about the sheer audacity of people walking around speaking any other language than English.

I didn't manage to get through to ask my question in Radioland but then I remembered that I was taking up space on the Internet.
My question was going to be exactly which version of English was going to be taught?
But I didn't get through because Captain Clever touched off a spark with the other insomniacs out there and for every person who called to say that he was an idiot there seemed to be two who called to proclaim that such a scheme would never ever work and how dare people all over the country not do what I say all the time [3]
Now I'm not just going to bang on about regional accents and things because thats something that no amount of teaching will get ever rid of. At least not unless we perfect cloning technology, clone a million copies of Professor Henry Higgins of My Fair Lady fame and set about teaching everyone in the world properly proper English on a one on one basis.
Thus it is safe to say that unless our mad scientists of  Mammoth cloning fame are prepared to go to such insane lengths in order to get everyone in the world [4] speaking in exactly the same tones we'll all be keeping our accents, twangs and local slang.

The question of a global language is one that has been considered by histories great minds [5] with Esperanto being perhaps the most famous and we already have conclusive proof that it's going to be used well into the future. 

I do in fact have three other suggestions [6] for a singular global language and the amazing thing is each of them is very easy to learn and is already being used by a select few.
  1. Suggestion the first:
    That we emulate our friends the birds [7] and sing as we go.  Now I'm not advocating the world of Musical except here, where I totally am but am instead thinking of writing in musical notations and speaking in terms of Doe Ray Me Fa So La Ti Doe

    Possible advantages:
    More people will become nuns [8]
    Translation services will be a thing of the past since anyone will be able to pick up any document and read it.  I mean I could pick up Beethoven's original sheet music and read it perfectly. [9]

    Possible disadvantages:
    Those occupations dealing with stealth will go right out the window leading to a dearth of ex ninjas entering the job market. Don't believe me? try sneaking up on someone musically, it can't be done.
  2. Suggestion the second:

    Possible Advantage:
    Graffiti would take on a more artistic look rather than being little more than a collection of stupid scribbles [10]
    Since it hasn't been used since Cleopatra was queening it up in Thebes it means that everyone is going to start off at the same place except those few Tomb Raiders that haven't been captured by Mummies or are suffering ancient curses.
    Schools will cut costs by merging the language and the arts departments.

    Possible Disadvantage:
    the same symbol can be interpreted in diverse ways, based on context. [11]
  3. Suggestion the third:
    Binary Programming Language

    Possible Advantage:
    Schools will cut costs this time by merging the Mathematic and language departments.

    Possible Disadvantage:
    The average book will be in the region of a million pages longer. [12]
    Literacy is awarded to anyone who is able to make a line and a circle.
    Transcribing a book into a computer will result in something else entirely.
You scribes your book you takes your chances [13]

La notas: 
  1. 4 12 hour shifts for work + 4 9 hour blocks for the course.  It's doable with enough coffee.
  2. And the papers.
  3. You know, the usual talkback callers
  4. Of course everyone in the world. If you think we're going to stop at just one country then you're madder than I am
  5. And now it's my turn
  6. Do you? Yes I do. Good for you
  7. Also, by pure coincidence, The Byrds
  8. Admittedly this will be so that they can run up and down hills leaving us with lots of very fit nuns with good singing voices.  With the end of the world being nigh (possibly) a company/brigade(?)/flock(?) [edit: superfluity of nuns apparently.  Who knew?] of fit singing nuns can only be a good thing.
  9. No doubt my audience will be an unsympathetic museum guard.
  10. Banksy doesn't count
  11. Which will, no doubt, be the basis of a "hilarious" movie probably staring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
  12. Lord of the Rings can add another million for all the appendixes
  13. Two Buffy References in as many posts?  This is turning into a fan site


  1. A universal language would be sweet...could travel to a lot more places and not feel so...foreign. Of course, it would up the number of people who could annoy you, because now you can understand everybody. now going to try and sneak up on someone musically. *Has been inspired*.

    What is a 1914 hand operated tiger???

  2. I can tell you what it isn't. It isn't a useful and decorative set of toasting forks and other culinary implements such as were used to devastating effect by Captain Wilding of the royal marines.

    Although there are several positions on the 1914 hand operated tiger where toast may be either impaled or balanced carefully I believe that it is possible that I may be one of the few people to have actually purchased an actual tiger over the Internet.

    Naturally I have left a review on the sellers page noting my displeasure at the events that have led to my ownership of said tiger and would urge anyone reading this to mail me some more bread as my own supplies are running low and he is blocking the doorway.

    PS: He seems to prefer wholemeal rather than white bread. I shall attempt to distract him with the few sunflower seeds that I have been storing for an occasion such as this. It is my hope that he will accept the offering and allow me egress.

    Should I suddenly start posting almost exclusively about the fact that tigers are simply better than any of the other big cats then please take it as read that not only have I been eaten but the tiger has also stolen my identity.

  3. ha ha ha woit a kidir heI am hey>?

    tgires rooole!

  4.'re a nut (but in a good way!). (Umm..unless you are allergic, then it would be insensitive of me.'re just funny, alright?) XD