Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Palaver

Wikipedia is practically the coolest thing ever, and I stumbled across this page while perusing the site earlier. It was quite diverting trying to figure out all of the ambiguous sentences, and to see what sort of constructs people can, well, construct with language. Even foreign languages can make crazy sentences, such as "Fit fit fits fit ski?", which means "Which foot fits which ski?" (in Glasgow patter, a Scottish dialect).

Coming across sites such as these, and noticing how enjoyable I find them, really makes me regret some of the courses I took in college. I was just lamenting this evening that I majored in accounting, when clearly a linguistics major would have been much more interesting to me.

A List of Subjects I Wish I Had Studied Further:
1) Linguistics/English
2) Economics
3) Physics and chemistry
4) Computer science
5) Philosophy
6) Latin

However, all is not lost: I am still able to satisfy most of my intellectual curiousities relatively easily (thanks, internet!). My daily blog reading addresses four of those items. Computer science and Latin are not terribly prevalent in my daily life, but I hope to remedy that. I want to switch my computer from Windows to a Linux operating system, which will require substantial computer programming learning. Also, Abbie has kindly offered to tutor me in Latin after I finish my exams. So, despite my foolish college days, my intellectual pursuits are still incredibly rich.

I read an article recently that speculated that the polymath is disappearing from society these days, and I think that that is true. There is just so much information to learn about a single subject in order to be considered an expert that it seems nigh impossible. When calculus and medicine were first being developed, it was probably the work of a week or two to learn everything there was to know about them! Now, I have been reading about applying statistical methods to risk evaluation for several years, and I am still an actuarial neophyte. However, because information is so easily disseminated these days, I am able at least to be informed in many, many areas. One hundred years ago, I would have had to spend all my hours cooped up in a library to achieve that. Although, since libraries are my favorite places, perhaps that would not be so bad...

1 comment:

Abbie said...

Haha I am excited to teach you Latin, although I really hope you practice more than you practiced the violin. Maybe we can look for a workbook for you! It will be a good refresher for me.