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October is OcAwareness Month
Topic Started: 4 Oct 2013, 11:24 PM (9,182 Views)
Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

It seems to be mainly the US that has commemorative days, weeks and months for everything imaginable.

But... where would we be without the day? We'd have 24 loose hours rolling all over the calendar, that's what. So why isn't there a National Day Day?
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Jack Campin
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What would anybody need so many tenses for? We only have three in Polish: past, present, and future tense

There is a small subfield of logic which I studied rather thoroughly once, called "tense logic", which tries to describe the formal features of concepts of time, as you use them in reasoning.

The idea is that you may want to express ideas like "at some point in the future, this event will be in the past" - this is usually called the "future perfect" tense, expressed by "will have..." in English. The logic of that kind of statement requires knowledge about the nature of the flow of time: as we ordinarily think of it, that implies that the event either will happen, has happened, or is happening, but you can imagine science-fictional structures for time where that isn't the case. Tense logic connects the way we argue about happenings in time with the assumptions we make about how time is structured.

Or you may have "aorist" tenses, which mean that a person does something habitually, rather than on just one occasion. (There is special syntax for that in Greek and Turkish).

Or you might have "continuous" tenses - "the moon was rising" rather than "the moon rose", which are talking about an extended span of time in which the moonrise was taking place. (Russian has "aspect" which does the same thing is a different and more complicated way). The mathematics of that one is dead interesting.

Or you might have "reportative" tenses - in Turkish there is a distinction between two kinds of past tense: one just says that the event happened, the other says that it happened and you saw it yourself and can swear to it.

Turkish even has a (rarely used) future tense which is just used for cursing people - it has the meaning of "this [bad event] probably won't actually happen but I wish it would".

And Something Completely Different in the verb inflection department:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_verb_paradigm

Scary.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

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I run into problems though, if I have to explain something more complicated in Spanish. They didn't teach us the vocabulary for "clean catch urine specimen" back when I studied it in high school.

When I was a kid in NZ I found a copy of a phrasebook issued to American GIs in occupied Japan that addressed exactly that sort of situation. A heck of a lot of it was handy phrases a GI could use for talking to Japanese medical staff about his case of gonorrhoea. I couldn't quite imagine why American occupiers would ever want Japanese medical help with that - wouldn't the likely response be "we'll have to cut that off"?
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Jack Campin
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Going along to this tomorrow:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1598866667042541/

There's a session after the dance - I'll use my normal mix of ocarinas, recorders and C clarinet.

The organizers: http://www.edinbal.org.uk/
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