Author Topic: The "English Code"  (Read 109 times)

Offline FlyingRedSportscar

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The "English Code"
« on: November 09, 2017, 12:02:08 PM »
For nearly ever, people have been trying to decipher the English Code into it's most simple form - that is a=ant, b=belonging, c=choke, and so on.

Well, after many long years of hard work I've finally done it!  Check out my work here: www.flyingredsportscar.net

Offline Daniel

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 12:10:14 PM »
Before I take any claims about phonosemantics seriously (most claims like this are complete nonsense), I have a simple question for you. If your answer satisfies me, I may consider your theory seriously:

How would you falsify your theory?
In other words, imagine/assume that your theory is wrong. WHY would it be wrong? How would we know? How can we test it?
Your theory can't be right until we know how to hypothetically falsify it.

I've never seen a falsifiable phonosemantic theory, I don't think. Answer that, and your ideas can potentially be taken seriously.

(An alternative would be to explain why your phonosemantic theory is better than the plethora of others floating around the internet. Is there some objective metric we can use to select the correct one? And falsify the others?)
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Offline FlyingRedSportscar

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 01:35:38 PM »
First off, I'm not a Linguist, just a layman.

I'll try to argue the second approach you suggested.

My theory is better than other theories like it because the other theories just don't work or will break down after a very short period of scrutiny.  There are just too many variables for them to hold up.  My theory will stand serious tests thrown at it and not break down.

Secondly, my theory has a meaning within a meaning.  You'll notice that the individual letters form a greater Poem, which actually makes sense.  The greater Poem describes both Bees and Babies, in 'forked' stories.  This is just too complicated, in my opinion, while keeping the theory intact, to be purely coincidental.  There's also the idea that, relating to the Bees fork, the letters BEGZ form an additional meaning about how people need to start protecting Bees.

The only objective metric I can think of to select the correct theory of this type is "whichever one works."  If it always works (not saying my theory is perfect just yet, some of the letters might need some adjustment) then it must be right.  If it works 95% percent of the time, it's still useful I think, because language isn't the same as mathematics.  A *ton* of public scrutiny would be the means to check which one is correct, I suppose.  Today, with all the technologies at our disposal, a 'brute force' or 'survival of the fittest' approach like this surely is feasible.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 01:51:26 PM by FlyingRedSportscar »

Offline Daniel

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 02:05:15 PM »
Quote
First off, I'm not a Linguist, just a layman.
Then how could you generally understand language, much less actually solve how it works? I'm not saying you need a Ph.D. to make a contribution. But your lack of qualification/experience is certainly not supporting evidence for your theory to be correct. It might be, despite that, but probably it just means it will be harder to convince you that you are wrong.

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You'll notice that the individual letters form a greater Poem, which actually makes sense.  The greater Poem describes both Bees and Babies, in 'forked' stories
Those two sentences juxtaposed had me laughing. Bees, babies and forks. Not sure why that would make sense. I'll leave it at that...

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A *ton* of public scrutiny would be the means to check which one is correct, I suppose.  Today, with all the technologies at our disposal, a 'brute force' or 'survival of the fittest' approach like this surely is feasible.
It's absurd to think that the best way to deal with a bunch of out there theories is to sort through each of them and see which holds up. Why should people spend their time on your theory in particular? And why aren't you spending all of your time reading about other theories? There are dozens if not hundreds of proposals parallel to yours out there. I've never seen one that isn't deeply flawed.

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My theory will stand serious tests thrown at it and not break down.
OK. Here's one:
First, the alphabet is an inconsistent representation of English pronunciation. Surely there's no meaning difference between "color" (American spelling) and "colour" (British spelling). I flatly reject the premise of your theory based on spelling.
Secondly, sounds change over time:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_change
The alphabet has also changed if you insist on going by spelling.
Are you really claiming that meaning changes with pronunciation? That when two dialects split into different languages and the sound change, they start to mean different things? In my opinion, that is just an incoherent, uninformed argument.
If not, why is modern English today special? And again, why the alphabet?

In the end, I'm hesitant to discuss this with you. But, you posted, so I replied. And my responses are somewhat harsh because we've been through this before. The ideas of this kind of correlation just don't work (and that has been known for at least over 100 years as a fundamental principle in Linguistics, one of the only things we can all seem to agree on, and related arguments can be identified even in the writing of ancient Greek philosophers). You're welcome to look at some of the old threads here where similar proposals were discussed. The best option probably is to not waste our time arguing about something we will probably never agree on.

And, no, you didn't provide any explanation for how your proposal could be falsified. You only stated, basically, that your theory is very good, and that the others are not. That doesn't resemble an academic argument.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 02:54:01 PM by Daniel »
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Offline FlyingRedSportscar

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 11:24:15 AM »
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Those two sentences juxtaposed had me laughing. Bees, babies and forks. Not sure why that would make sense. I'll leave it at that...

Sorry, I used the word 'forked' like a computer programmer would, based on my old days of studying computer science.  I meant to say, there are 2 different poems in one, a fork in the path, hinged on the letter 'B.'

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OK. Here's one:
First, the alphabet is an inconsistent representation of English pronunciation. Surely there's no meaning difference between "color" (American spelling) and "colour" (British spelling).

Color
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, realization-slowly-dawned

Colour
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, u-are-caught-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place, realization-slowly-dawned

It just adds a hint of British spice to the translation, that's all.  The meaning doesn't really change with the addition of the 'U.'  You'll notice it has reflection as part of the translation too (in case you didn't know, colour is perceived by what wavelengths are absorbed and the remaining wavelengths that get reflected, the colours we see are the wavelengths that get reflected).

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be thinking that my theory has some sort of sound change associated with it, which is not correct.  That was how the theory first started off, with a sound change to 'a' and 'le/the', however that part of it became entirely obsolete.  It's no longer part of my theory at all.  Now everything is just pronounced like regular, standard English.

Offline Daniel

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 03:04:18 PM »
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Sorry, I used the word 'forked' like a computer programmer would, based on my old days of studying computer science.  I meant to say, there are 2 different poems in one, a fork in the path, hinged on the letter 'B.'
Makes a little more sense, but still not sure I get it.

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Color
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, realization-slowly-dawned
Colour
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, u-are-caught-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place, realization-slowly-dawned
It just adds a hint of British spice to the translation, that's all.
Nope, I don't believe that. Not at all. There's nothing convincing about that argument. You may as well be reading tea leaves. As you know (because you're doing this a lot) you can try to make sense of anything. You could just as easily argue the opposite, which shows this is nonsense. You're seeing things that aren't there, because you want to see them.

Also, just for your information, your 'translations' are entirely nonsensical and meaningless to me. They don't capture the meaning of "color", nor do I have any other reasonable way to interpret them. It's like assigning colors at random to the letters of the alphabet and telling me English is a rainbow. Sure.

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If I understand you correctly, you seem to be thinking that my theory has some sort of sound change associated with it, which is not correct.
No, the opposite. If your theory can't handle the fact that sounds DO change in languages, then you cannot explain anything. Words simply vary in different languages and over time. That's why we call the relationship arbitrary. "Dog" in English, "Hund" in German, "perro" in Spanish and "cane" in Italian all mean exactly the same thing.
You're left with only two options: 1) your theory doesn't work, or 2) you're describing feelings only, and nothing quantifiable. So it doesn't really mean anything, although like a fortune cookie, it seems to apply when it's really just generic. There's no way to falsify (or prove) feelings, so you make it hard for anyone to argue against you.

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Now everything is just pronounced like regular, standard English.
Which doesn't exist. Pronunciation varies by individual (and over time, and in different dialects, and in different languages). Are you suggesting to me that when I say something it can't mean the same thing as when someone with a slightly different accent than mine says it? That's incoherent.

Try reading Plato's Cratylus. It's poetic (so you'd probably enjoy it), and it's also observations that show the problems in your arguments, from over 2000 years ago.
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Offline FlyingRedSportscar

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 04:05:56 PM »
I updated the letter 'D' (the odd man out).  It should make a lot more sense now!!  Especially the 'baby' story fork.  Currently working on the other odd man out, 'N,' which is a misquote from Shakespeare. 

Offline FlatAssembler

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 10:01:46 PM »
I must admit I don't really understand such phonosemantic hypotheses. You realize that "color" is not even originally an English word, but a Latin word? Then the same phonosemantic rules should apply to Latin, and they obviously don't. In basic vocabulary, for instance, Latin 'd' corresponds to English 't' and Latin 'f' corresponds either to English 'd' or 'b'.

There are some theories about phonosemantics being applicable to early proto-languages, when the languages were not so full of loan-words, and they sound a lot less crazy to me. For instance, it makes much more sense to say that Proto-Indo-European *d meant "to shine" (that's an actual hypothesis, I didn't make it up) than it makes to say that English 't' means that, because, well, most of the English words starting in 't' weren't originally English at all.

Offline Daniel

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Re: The "English Code"
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 10:20:20 PM »
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...it makes much more sense to say that Proto-Indo-European *d meant "to shine" (that's an actual hypothesis, I didn't make it up) than it makes to say that English 't' means that, because, well, most of the English words starting in 't' weren't originally English at all.
I'd say that's probably an illusion because:
1. We don't have enough evidence to falsify it.
2. We think of PIE as "old" or even "original" when in fact it's a young language compared to the length of time humans have been talking. (It's probably among the most recent 5% of languages. Not that 'oldness' is actually a coherent notion for languages, but I'll set that aside for the moment.)

However, if there is any chance of a phonosemantic hypothesis being right, it would be statistical and for limited sounds. I am open to the arguments that "gl" somehow as a sequence seems to have a phonosemantic correlation in English: glimmer, glisten, glitter, gleam, etc. But even that is vague and probably just an illusion: glib, glum, glue, glory, gloat, glob, glitch, etc. In fact, the effect of any real phonosemantic pattern (which I'm not saying couldn't exist), would probably be so small it might not even be observable or falsifiable. You want to tell me that "snake" has an S in it because it sounds like a snake? Sure, maybe. But that has no predictive power because you could also have a word that doesn't have an S and means snake. Maybe to speakers that seems like a really good fit, so we are more likely to like it, so there is some very small increase in the probability of sound distributions, such that a small percentage of vocabulary in every language is motivated by phonosemantics. But nothing like assigning values to all of the letters of the alphabet in all contexts!
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