Category Archives: Language

whistle click beep

A recent study has shown that a whistling language developed by shepherds in the Canary Islands is “processed by the brain in the same way as ordinary speech”: It implies that the brain can process other non-verbal communication as language, too.

If you’ve read David Brin’s “Startide Rising”:, this should ring a bell. (If you haven’t, consider this a recommendation.) The book has neo-dolphins and humans communicating in a common language, developed to allow either species to make the appropriate sounds.

[Deana points out an "earlier post about Silbo":, the language in question. The new article is more about how the language is processed in the brain. ~c]

Punctuation is important.

A while back, I was talking to Steve about an example of how punctuation can make all the difference. Share and enjoy.

UPDATE: I originally posted this with just the link, but linkrot set in and made it less than useful. To avoid that again, I’m going to post the examples here. Note the effect of punctuation on meaning:

Dear John
I want a man who knows what love is all about.
You are generous, kind, thoughtful.
People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.
You have ruined me for other men.
I yearn for you.
I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart.
I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours?


Dear John
I want a man who knows what love is.
All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you.
Admit to being useless and inferior.
You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn.
For you, I have no feelings whatsoever.
When we’re apart, I can be forever happy.
Will you let me be?