Monthly Archives: March 2016

A little rant about spellings

originally written Jan 2, 2016

A while back I spent a few years reading a lot of classics from China and India, and trying to figure out how to pronounce things. I’m not saying I was successful or anything, but I noticed a few things along the way.

The nice thing about transliterations (Western alphabet equivalents) is they tend to be fairly consistent.
• In China (pinyin), a hard ‘c’ is always spelled in English with a ‘k’. In India, a hard ‘c’ is always spelled in English with a ‘k’. In the West, not so much.
• In China, a soft ‘c’ is always spelled in English with an ‘s’. In India, a soft ‘c’ is always spelled in English with an ‘s’. In the West, not so much.
• In China, ‘c’ is pronounced ‘ts’ as in tsar. They use ‘ch’ for a soft ‘ch’ as in ‘church’. (Also, the Chinese ‘q’ is pronounced ‘chyu’ or something like that.) In India, ‘c’ is pronounced ‘ch’ as in ‘church’. In the West, it could be anything. Or at least it seems that way.
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Art outside the West: nothing to report

To recap, I’ve been looking at paintings and drawings in the West before and after transitions to linear logic, since I wanted to see when true perspective (which occurs in the late concrete operational stage in children) appears historically. True perspective (e.g. receding train tracks or the equivalent) only seems to appear in periods where a significant portion of the population is literate and educated. It appeared in Classical Greece and Rome, and it appeared in the Renaissance, but is not a human universal. Continue reading