• TheMadFool
    4.3k
    I once, on another forum, advanced the idea that many words in any language are redundant because we can always negate a given word with "not" and convey meaning. If we were to do this it may be that nearly half of all words can be discarded.

    An advantage of this would be less to remember and therefore freeing up memory space for other stuff. A disadvantage would be dilated discourse i.e. saying something or writing something would take longer and consume more space.

    Some might say that our world is more nuanced and not just the black-white dichotomy such an idea suggests. However this isn't really an issue because all I'm saying is that we don't create words for the negation of an idea/concept. We're free to name and identify any shade in the spectrum that reality presents to us. Just don't create words for their negation. Use "not".

    Is the above idea realistic/practical/good or not :wink: ?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    An advantage of this would be less to remember and therefore freeing up memory space for other stuff.TheMadFool

    That seems like you're taking a brain/computer analogy too literally.

    Who has a problem with "memory space" that's taken up by vocabulary?
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    That seems like you're taking a brain/computer analogy too literally.

    Who has a problem with "memory space" that's taken up by vocabulary?
    Terrapin Station

    You may be right. Our memory could be different from a hard drive.

    Do you have any idea on how different the two are?

    Ever notice that no person can be an expert on more than a couple of fields? I've heard of polymaths but they were all during a time when knowledge was at its infancy - less to remember. Where are the polymaths of now?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    There are a lot of people who have graduate degrees and/or practical expertise in more than one field. I'm someone with graduate degrees in two very different fields.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    I'm someone with graduate degrees in two very different fields.Terrapin Station

    :cheer: :clap: Wow!!
  • Ignance
    7
    A disadvantage would be dilated discourse i.e. saying something or writing something would take longer and consume more space.TheMadFool

    you’re right that more nuanced discussion would arise with the idea, but if it’d encourage word vomit, don’t you think the basic means of conversation be unnecessarily riddled in verbose and walking around getting to the point of what one is saying? this would cause a ton of confusion, and it’s sacrificing simplicity just for the sake of complexity. it’d free memory space for the sacrifice of time, but i feel like people would value communication in a time efficient manner over making room for more memory space to partake in inefficient manners of communication? excuse me if im misunderstanding something or thinking too linear, it’s early over here
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    Yes you're right but think about it. Consider language to be a circle One semi-circle consists of all "positive" words (lacking the vocabulary here so bear with me). All words that are antonyms are, quite appropriately, diametrically opposite - the other half of the circle - and can be referenced simply by negating, using "not".

    I'm not advocating anything. I just want views.
  • Ignance
    7
    yes i understand, instead of having a word like “bad” it could easily be exchanged by just saying not “good” and it’d accomplish the same goal, just a word more or so. i see you’re not advocating, apologies if that’s how i worded my previous post.

    well i guess my view would be is that it would increase verbosity at the expense of time due to lack of a word for it, i put time on a pedestal so the notion for me is inherently ridiculous, however i DO see the appeal in it for sure.
  • JimRoo
    11
    That was a part of Orwell's newspeak in the novel 1984. From wikipedia

    Newspeak has no antonyms, therefore the prefix "Un–" is used to indicate negation; the Standard-English word warm becomes uncold, and the moral concept communicated with the word bad is expressed as ungood. When appended to a verb, the prefix "un–" communicates a negative imperative mood, thus, the Newspeak word unproceed means "do not proceed" in Standard English.

    "Plus–" is an intensifier that replaces more and the suffix –er; thus, plusgood replaced the English words great and better.
    "Doubleplus–" is an intensifier that replaces plus– to communicate greater intensity; to that purpose, the Newspeak word doubleplusgood replaced the English words excellent and best.
    "Ante–" is the prefix that replaces before; antefiling replaces the English phrase "before filing."
    "Post–" is the prefix that replaces after.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Is the above idea realistic/practical/good or not :wink:TheMadFool

    In English, and all other languages I assume, there are always at least several different ways to say something. Actually, maybe not exactly the same thing. Antonyms rarely have exactly the same meaning. Even if their definitions are the same, there are nuances, implications, moods that differ. That gives language a lot of subtle power.

    Beyond that, "not good" is not the same as "bad."

    On the other hand, one of my favorite word usages came from Saturday Night Live back in the 1990s.

  • Ignance
    7
    Beyond that, "not good" is not the same as "bad."T Clark

    ....oh.
  • thewonder
    412
    Beyond that, "not good" is not the same as "bad."T Clark

    I like this idea. I once thought of creating a Philosophical framework where nothing was considered to be "bad" or "evil" and everything that was either "bad" or "evil" was just simply "not good". It may have been a worthwhile endeavor, but I did sort of give up on it.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    :up: thanks for the info.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    In English, and all other languages I assume, there are always at least several different ways to say something. Actually, maybe not exactly the same thing. Antonyms rarely have exactly the same meaning. Even if their definitions are the same, there are nuances, implications, moods that differ. That gives language a lot of subtle power.T Clark

    I agree because the negation of x is simply what is not x. But not x consists of not one but many alternatives (nuances) and so must be named. For instance let's say we want to talk about what isn't hate. We could say not-hate but this category has within it sensual love, parental love, friendship love, etc. each requiring a name.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Is the above idea realistic/practical/good or not :wink: ?TheMadFool

    This OP is not not simplistic in its treatment of language.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    This OP is not not simplistic in its treatment of language.Noah Te Stroete

    Well, you can only get so far with a MadFool. Anyway if one considers logic we usually don't invent new names for a negation of a statement. To negate A we say ~A and don't use another name like B or C.
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